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Burberry links with The RealReal to encourage recycling in the US

today Oct 7, 2019
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In a fashion industry more heavily focused on recycling than ever before, more and more brands are launching initiatives to facilitate this and keep their products out of landfill.

Burberry has linked with The RealReal on a resale initiative - Burberry

Since the negative publicity surrounding its policy (now cancelled) of incinerating usable waste products, Burberry has become one of the most active names environmentally in the luxury sector.

Now the company has linked up with resale giant The RealReal, with US shoppers who offer a used piece of Burberry on The RealReal’s site to get an invitation to high tea and a personal shopping session at one of the British luxury brand’s 18 US boutiques.

It marks the increasing connection between luxury labels and high-end resale, an area that designer brands have largely avoided getting too close to until now.

But as resale becomes one of the most dynamic sectors of the fashion market and as processes for authentication improve, a resale link-up is a big win for any brand setting out to improve its sustainability. That was borne out by Richemont’s purchase of watch resale brand Watchfinder last year.

And while some brands remain aloof from the resale industry, others have embraced it, Stella McCartney having also teamed up with The RealReal a couple of years ago. 

Burberry won’t be directly selling its products via the site but it will be rewarding those consumers who do so, as well as helping to increase awareness of what can be done.

According to The RealReal, resale demand for Burberry has increased by 64% year-on-year, with searches for Burberry on the site rising fastest among Millennial and Gen Z customers.

The company’s Pam Batty, who’s VP of corporate responsibility, said the brand doesn’t see resale as a threat and wants to “raise awareness of different options customers have when they want to refresh their wardrobe.”

Jefferies analyst Flavio Cereda also told Bloomberg that online luxury resale is growing at 50% a year and while there’s a cannibalisation risk for Burberry, “the smart brands are embracing this or at least trying to work out how to get involved.”