Resale platform Vinted studied shopper motivations and found that consumers are increasingly opting for delivery hubs, among other greener intentions.
The venture-backed resale marketplace spanning 80 million members recently released its first resale report. Vinted commissioned Berlin-based retail carbon-tracking platform Vaayu to conduct an independent lifecycle analysis (LCA) of the marketplace’s impact across packaging, delivery (unsurprisingly, the biggest impact), operations and “emissions avoided,” which is a common comparative metric used by resellers.
Given resellers are still determining how to measure their impact against the broader fashion industry, painting broad strokes on emissions avoided from not buying new is the usual route. Until recently, there were not any parameters, but the European Commission’s green claims directive has instituted requirements for making “comparative claims,” including the use of equivalent information or data, equivalent stages along the value chain, and a comparable baseline year (commonplace for climate targets). As the EU’s proposal also stresses, LCA substantiators should have Ph.D.-level smarts or be a permanent role, if not an outside agency of record.
With 60 retail partners today, including Vinted, Vaayu’s real-time AI-driven carbon emissions calculator and platform has already scored seed investment of $11.5 million last year. Vaayu’s comparative analysis found that Vinted shoppers (more than 350,000 surveyed in all) displaced on average more than 1.8 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per item by shopping secondhand over buying new. With this baseline, the reseller looks to set science-based targets and continue reducing its operational footprint.
Vinted wrote, “While not every secondhand transaction prevented a new purchase, we can confidently state that buying secondhand is a better choice for the climate.” At the same time, a significant number of Vinted buyers reported casually shopping for fashion items without a “direct practical motivation,” choosing to “impulse buy” instead of replacing items.
From its report, Vinted’s focus is on improving its “delivery proposition” in 18 European markets, with the area accounting for its greatest impact, or 282,471 CO2e (which is roughly 96 percent of its net impact).
“Buyers [or 73 percent, in 2021] significantly reduce the climate impact of deliveries by choosing pick-up points over home delivery,” with around a quarter of respondents reporting the trek to pick-up points only taking 13 minutes. Most are taking a car to get there and 30 percent are traveling by foot. The report even accounted for emissions due to “bounced” deliveries (or if no one was home to receive it, and the package was rerouted). On another note, the report found that 62 percent of packaging used by sellers was reused in an effort to “minimize waste.”
Vinted’s pick-up and drop-off (PUDO) point was cited as a major growth area, with already a network of more than 220,000 PUDO points. Deliveries to a PUDO point instead of a home address reduced emissions by 62 percent. Through the launch of its dedicated shipping business, Vinted Go, last year, Vinted plans to continue popularizing PUDO and aims to have more than 2,000 lockers operational in France by the end of the year.
Marianne Gybels, senior director of sustainability at Vinted, told WWD, “The findings of this report show our members can be proud of their actions, and we can be proud that the Vinted marketplace had significant net carbon saving compared to new in 2021, even accounting for factors like excess purchases. We also see lots of areas for improvement, which we will be focusing on in our forthcoming climate strategy. In the meantime, we’ll be encouraging our members to continue choosing the kinds of behaviors that reflect the value of clothing, and help keep them in circulation for longer.”