German fashion e-tailer Zalando has expanded its pre-owned fashion webshop Zircle to Sweden and Denmark in a move aimed at supporting its target of extending the life of 50m fashion items by 2023.

Each article on the platform, all previously owned by Zalando customers in markets where a trade-in function is available, has been assessed in a two-step quality check; first via digital photos uploaded by the customer and secondly once Zalando receives the physical product. This is done to guarantee a curated and high-quality fashion experience. The wide assortment on Zircle includes brands that are available on Zalando and others currently unavailable on the Fashion Store.

In line with Zalando's goal to minimise waste and keep materials in use, specifically eliminating single-use plastics by 2023, plastic-free packaging is being piloted for all orders from Zircle and recycled paper is used instead.

The expansion of Zircle responds to conscious Nordic consumer demand for an easy and convenient pre-owned fashion shopping experience, Zalando says. A survey carried out by the Berlin-based firm shows about half of its Swedish and Danish customers would consider buying pre-owned fashion within the next six months.

"Zircle will support our target of extending the life of 50 million fashion items by 2023 by enabling our customers to give them a new life quickly and effortlessly," says Laura Coppen, head of circularity at Zalando.

With the launch of Zircle in 2019 in Germany, Zalando has had the chance to test and learn how the pre-owned experience works for its customers and how it can be scaled and improved. Following those learnings, Zalando integrated the pre-owned category into the Zalando Fashion Store in Germany, Spain, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Poland in 2020. 

The e-tailer shared the first insights from its sustainability brand assessment conducted in partnership with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and Higg Co, at the end of last year, with the results showing partner brands are performing better in the social and human rights sections than in the environmental sections.