ThredUp today launched its first private label brand, Remade, which the online consignment site claimed is the only affordable clothing collection geared to be resold rather than landfilled. The project is being led by Paula Sutter, ThredUp adviser and board member, and former president of Diane von Furstenberg.
Remade will be sold on thredup.com and at the company’s four brick-and-mortar stores as well as Goody boxes, ThredUp’s sampling service.
Sutter translated ThredUp’s resale data into fashion staples, focusing on the type of quality construction and flattering silhouettes seen in upper contemporary brands, albeit at more affordable price points.
Remade targets in-demand product categories and styles in sizes XS to 3X.
“We were seeing areas in our marketplace where we weren’t serving customer as well as we could,” said James Reinhart, founder and chief executive officer of ThredUp. “One area was larger sizes. We didn’t have enough inventory or enough sizes. We heard from customers, ‘I’d love to shop with you, but you don’t have what I love in my size.'”
Remade is geared toward consumers who aren’t able to pull the trigger on used clothing. “I hear people say, ‘I’d love to buy something secondhand, but I can’t get over the hump,” Reinhart said, adding that ThredUp was careful to make sure there was a viable market for Remade because “we didn’t want to produce more stuff that people would throw away. There’s enough stuff being produced in the world.”
The data-backed Remade collection is aimed at the conscious consumer, who considers the resale value and longevity of a garment before making a purchase.
Reinhart said ThredUp is working with an overseas partner for Remade’s production. “We looked at items we were thinking about producing, ran samples of the product’s colors through a machine-learning algorithm,” Reinhart said. “We made decisions on what to produce based on the data. For example, our partner is in charge of the design of a chambray shirt, but we helped zero in on the shade of chambray.”
The ceo said he’s confident consumers will like Remade, which will allow ThredUp to continue offering it and “having the collection be part of our story. Isn’t just a one time event.”
“Retail is starting to look a lot like the automotive industry, where consumers gravitate toward brands with great resale value,” Reinhart said, adding that outside of luxury goods, it’s hard for shoppers to identify brands or styles that would be likely to be resold. “We want to use our data to help consumers buy clothes that can be resold instead of discarded.”
Every Remade garment comes with a ThredUp buyback promise, ensuring it will be accepted and resold on the e-commerce site. “The way we thought about the pricing is that customers buy high-quality things and pay a little more for items up front, but are guaranteed to get 40 percent back when they send it to us. The high-quality construction and data-backed designs allow us to pay four times more than average payouts for items at comparable price points.”
Remade garments have scannable labels that let ThredUp quickly place the item back into the circular economy. The technology will track how many times an item is resold and how old it is, allowing ThredUp to quickly price it for resale and pay the seller cash or credit.
Reinhart sees opportunities for private labels that address neglected sizes and reengineered garments in light colors designed to stand up to dirt and wear and tear. “Lighter-colored garments don’t hold up as well in the resale world,” Reinhart said. “As you can imagine, people spill stuff. Some of the products [in the Remade collection] are overindexed for that color palate and were made with materials that will hold up better.”
Unlike fast fashion, Remade consists of “timeless styles, not fleeting trends and products are constructed to last, Reinhart said. “Remade items are made from consciously sourced high-grade materials and bonded with quality stitching and seams for a longer lifespan across multiple owners.”
Reinhart noted that all remade factories passed social responsibility and compliance testing and participate in Better Works and the Her Project, which benefit women’s health and education. In addition, all mills are water safety and efficiency compliant.
“There’s nobody public out there that’s publicly built a brand for the second-hand economy,” Reinhart said.