Luxanthropy.com, a web site that enables people to resell their luxury fashion items and simultaneously contribute a portion of the proceeds to charity, officially launches Tuesday.
The Los Angeles-based Luxanthropy.com has a business model that reflects the growing demand for used and vintage luxury and the emergence of consignment web sites selling the products. Thredup recently expanded into luxury with the launch of Luxe, while The Real Real is considered the leader in online luxury resale. LXRandCo, which operates shops-in-shops selling vintage luxury handbags and accessories, earlier this year went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
But Luxanthropy also reflects how businesses can capture customer loyalty by supporting philanthropic causes.
“Luxanthropy was founded on the belief that amazing fashion can have several chapters and supporting important causes can be easy for anyone,” said stylist and costume designer Lisa Eisler, a cofounder of Luxanthropy. “Just let that fabulous item that is no longer in your rotation become a new favorite in someone else’s closet.”
“Consumers today are incredibly motivated to give back and are looking for simple, new ways to go about it,” added Jennifer Mann Hillman, also cofounder of Luxanthropy and former public relations and marketing executive who worked for several years at Estée Lauder and Saks Fifth Avenue. “Luxanthropy has built a bridge between fashion and philanthropy that is relevant, effective and rewarding, and most importantly, allows the seller to decide the donation amount that’s right for them.”
While there are web sites that accept clothing donations and resells them to help charities, such as Union & Fifth, the LuxAnthropy founders say their site is unique because it blends the charity component with luxury resale giving the owners some money in their pocket and feeling even better knowing they’re supporting charity.
Explaining the Luxanthropy business model, Mann Hillman said, “We curate style, authenticate everything and decide the price points. Once a seller agrees to the price, they determine what charity they want to support. There’s really nothing like this out there.”
“It’s a 60-40 split,” with the sellers receiving 60 percent of the sale price, she added.
Mann Hillman also said, “If someone decides they want to sell something, they send the item to us, or if they are in the Los Angeles area, we will pick it up.”
Items accepted for resale on LuxAnthropy can be new or “gently used,” the founders stressed.
With the charity contribution, the sellers decide what percent commission they want to give to Luxanthropy’s charity partners, though the founders said there’s a suggested minimum of 5 percent. Then Luxanthropy contributes 5 percent of its proceeds to the same charity.
“We are focusing on health, education, arts and human services, and all of our charities have national or global reach,” said Mann Hillman. Luxanthropy’s charity partners include The Art of Elysium, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, The Eva Longoria Foundation, Face Forward, Help USA, Otis College of Art & Design Scholarship Fund, Shane’s Inspiration and Women’s Cancer Research Fund.
“Charities are excited because for them, Luxanthropy is a whole new way to raise money and reach out to key supporters,” said Mann Hillman.
Currently, the site lists in excess of 1,000 pieces including apparel, shoes, handbags and accessories for women and men — and sells them at prices up to 70 percent off retail. “We’re adding stuff everyday,” said Mann Hillman.
“We accept designer and select contemporary brands. We don’t take lower-end items,” explained Eisler. “If something doesn’t sell, we can either send it back to the owner, or we will give to charity ourselves.”
“We are receiving merchandise from stylists, celebrities, production houses, television shows, fashion designers. People want to be selling anonymously. We’re becoming Hollywood’s best kept secret,” said Eisler.
“Efforts like Luxanthropy really help our ability to fund breast cancer research,” said Myra Biblowit, president of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. “I don’t know of any other web site doing what they are doing, really attracting people with luxury items in their closets and structured in a way that makes it very easy for people to support a charity. It’s just getting up and running now but this really is a charm.”