thredup, thrift, secondhand

ThredUp has launched virtual-only “Thrift Cards” in preparation for the holiday season and rise of “responsible retail.”

“Not only is shopping secondhand better for the environment than shopping new, but choosing a digital gift card eliminates paper and plastic waste,” said Samantha Blumenthal, a spokesperson for ThredUp.

It also eliminates the choice conundrum wrapped into the fear of picking the wrong gift.

Allowing the consumer to choose what they actually want may, therefore, result in less waste, and fewer returns or regrets — what ThredUp compiles in its list of brands and categories of the “most-regretted gifts,” tracked every year between December to January based on the influx of new-with-tags garments. Items are “presumably rejected holiday gifts.”

Last year, Everlane was found to be the least regretted buy two years in a row with J. Crew cardigans being the most new-with-tags returns, and thus “most-regretted.” The company also operates a Luxe vertical denoting special authentication attention for items on its luxury brand list. Prada was the designer brand with the least regret, according to ThredUp data.

It’s a toss-up as to whether it’s accurate to say one thrift gift card is directly attributable to a shopper’s one-for-one divestment from mainstream shopping streams. But, nevertheless, ThredUp is committed to its goal of displacing half a million new gifts.

“We’d like to think that every gift card sold means one less gift that would have been bought brand-new,” Blumenthal said. “The stigma around shopping secondhand has been dissipating over the past few years, particularly as Gen Z replaces fast fashion with resale,” she said. The Thrift Cards will be a regular offering for ThredUp after the holidays, which are e-mailed to the recipient and available in a range of $25 to $150.

And according to Christine Barton, senior partner and managing director at Boston Consulting Group, broadly, consumer demand for responsible products is predicted to grow in the double-digits by this or next year.

Consumers are embracing regifting, thrifting and sourcing gifts more responsibly. This is according to holiday consumer behavioral data from Accenture and ThredUp’s annual resale report, the former cites 48 percent of the 1,500 survey respondents as willing to give secondhand clothing as gifts, while 56 percent say they would welcome this kind of gift for themselves.

According to data, over the last year 56 million women have bought secondhand clothing and over the past three years, resale has grown 21 times faster than apparel retail.

But it’s not just the resellers capitalizing on behavioral changes; apparel brands are cashing in on the vogue in vintage and secondhand by upcycling. Earlier this week, Patagonia debuted the first of its “ReCrafted” upcycled collection, an ever-changing assortment of patchwork jackets, bags and the like, similar to what’s happening with The North Face and its partnership with The Renewal Workshop.

Whether in patchwork collections, thrifting or regifting, “responsible retail” is a growing trend, expelling newfound opportunity for brands.

For More Sustainability News, See:

Holiday 2019 Expected to Usher in the Era of ‘Responsible Retail’

Holiday Shopping Is Well Under Way

ThredUp Reports That Resale Marches On