DON’T HOLD YOUR HORSES: Rather than present its spring 2021 collection during fashion month, Argentine label ÀCheval — formerly ÀCheval Pampa — is launching a retail buyback program, with an eye toward the circular economy.
Called Keep Moving, the program has launched with the spring 2021 market with the support of the brand’s sales agent, Milan-based Riccardo Grassi, and is open to existing retailers, as well as any new ones moving forward. Once merchandise hits the retail floor in late February, it will be expanded to consumers, through the brand’s web site.
“During the lockdown, we felt we had to do something, contribute more, it wasn’t possible to just [pick up where we left off and] do nothing,” said cofounder Sofia Achaval de Montaigu.
How will it work for retailers? At the end of each season, qualifying unsold merchandise can be sent back to the brand, which will then determine the destination of the returned items. The retailer then receives a 10 percent discount on the order of the following season. “[Having a straightforward simple process] helps everyone, and makes this into a win-win. Retailers are happy to be part of this circular movement that is so easy on them, and for us, it was a way to implement our belief in circular economy practices in a practical way,” said cofounder Lucila Sperber.
For customers, a new version of the ÀCheval web site, slated to launch for spring 2021 in late February, will offer the option to send back used pieces and also benefit from a fixed percentage discount towards a future purchase.
Returned items will then have one of three destinations. After assessment by quality control teams, unused merchandise from retailers will either be reworked into future collections, or sold as vintage pieces in a dedicated vintage section on the ÀCheval e-store, where used garments from customers in good condition will also end up. Among bestsellers that will feature in this pre-loved selection are the Al Boleo, inspired by traditional gaucho pants called bombacha, the wide-collar Evita blouse or the Argentina maxidress.
Any pieces not deemed fit to be resold will be donated to communities in the brand’s manufacturing regions through nonprofit organizations they already collaborate with, such as Warmi Huasi in the northern regions of Argentina.