Menu Close

Do No Harm to Your Brand

By Samantha Dersarkissian

Do No Harm to Your Brand


Key Takeaways

  • Sustainability matters for brands because it matters for customers and society.  Customer expectations are high and those brands that emerge successfully will innovate at the business model level–marketing alone won’t cut it.

  • 1. There's no substitute for learning from your customers in the market, but you can't afford to put your brand at risk — even for resale. Events this week further highlight the need to move aggressively but intelligently as experience matters. 

Kaley Roshitsh’s WWD article on Thrifting reminds us that while the lion’s share of resale is online, the 25,000 US physical thrift stores still make up a bulk of the resale industry. She also highlights the growing value and importance of well-made items in the greater cause of sustainability in the past few decades.

Tommy Hilfiger’s launch of their resale site provides a sustainability win for the brand. While co-branded and powered by ThredUP, the merchandise and trade-in programs are Tommy-specific (aside from the small mention of competing brands on the trade-in page).  While these programs are good sustainability marketing, they are not viable long-term solutions for the brand as they lack brand control and customer ownership.

Eddie Bauer’s foray into pulling together resale and rental, on the other hand, is a bit more problematic.  The idea of seamless integration of new, used, and rental is compelling, and we see it working in Europe, but the execution, in this case, is poor and creates risk for the brand. Navigating through the site, I experience items that could not be added to the cart, items canceled from my cart, and a very confusing and problematic UX, to name a few.  I applaud the bold move by Eddie Bauer, but this is another cautionary tale that brands should experiment in a ‘do no harm to the brand’ mode.

Sustainability remained a throughline this week including Louis Vuitton’s new logo on a 90% recycled sneaker. It shows a leading brand’s recognition of customer importance for sustainability.  However, this fits many current marketing efforts that ultimately will fall short of customer expectations for brands–that is more meaningful business model innovation.  On a related note, I am a fan of ThredUP’s new campaign against Shein with Stranger Things star Priah Ferguson.  Shein is a big and visible target and the effective call to action will support the growth of ThredUPs thrifting model for next-gen customers.

Finally, Recurate published their first Resale Report.  The world is not lacking data that resale is big and growing.  There were, however, a few value-added data points such as the breakout by behavior groups including those who buy, sell, buy and sell and those who don’t participate in resale. Of course, I am a big believer in brand-owned resale which is also highlighted in the report.  As resale grows, brands need to protect their brand and stay close to their customers.  This will require profitable resale programs integrated with their core business that can operate at scale.

Until Next Week, Andy Ruben, Founder & Executive Chairman

Tommy Hilfiger Partners With thredUP, Expands Involvement in Resale Trend

Tommy Hilfiger is the latest brand to partner with ThredUp’s Resale as a Service.  The offering is listed on the main URL’s global Nav and both trade-in and sales are limited to only Tommy Hilfiger items–breaking from historical programs where customers can receive brand credit for any items sent back to ThredUP.

Logomania Is Coming for Sustainability

Business of Fashion

Louis Vuitton has given its classic monogram a sustainability-focused makeover for its newest sneaker–comprised of 90% recycled material.  The new logo was created by late designer Virgil Abloh and first appeared in a series of upcycled garments and accessories featured in the brand’s Spring/Summer 2021 menswear collection.

Will a Recession Stunt Sustainable Fashion?

Business of Fashion

The last major downturn in 2008 was a huge setback for an emerging movement. But this time, consumer and business culture shifts mean things are likely to be different. A recession is also likely to fortify the rise of resale and rental, already fast-growing markets that play into the desire for value and bargains that usually accompany a downturn.

Why Thrift, Upcycling Are the ‘Only Relevant Conversation’ in Fashion Right Now


National Thrift Shop Day on Wednesday counts scores of new (and longtime) admirers in fashion for thrifting’s history, trendiness, and relevance. According to the National Association of Resale Professionals, or NARTS, the physical thrift store count sits at 25,000 in the U.S., contributing to the multibillion-dollar resale industry that is estimated to reach $77 billion by 2025.

ThredUP enlists ‘Stranger Things’ star to help turn the fast fashion world upside down

Retail Dive

Fast fashion has long been criticized for its negative environmental impact. Now online resale retailer thredUP is launching a campaign with a celebrity Priah Ferguson of Stranger Things who is espousing the ills of fast fashion while advertising the type of outfits the online secondhand shop offers.

Majority of Secondhand Shoppers Buy Mid-Priced Brands, According to Recurate’s First Resale Report

Footwear News

Recurate released its first resale report — and a key insight shows that 74% of people across all major markets, ages, genders, and socioeconomic status shop resale.  The report also sectioned off respondents according to certain behaviors and demographics: re-commerce shoppers (ages 21 to 40, female and suburban earning $30,000 or less), re-commerce sellers (ages 21 to 40, female and urban earning $50,000 to $100,000), the “circulars” (ages 18 to 40, female and urban earning $50,000 to $100,000, including freelancers) and “non-actives” (ages 41-plus, all genders and suburban earning less than $75,000).

Eddie Bauer Launches Resale ‘(Re)Adventure’ Program


Eddie Bauer launched their unified rental, and resale storefront called (Re)Adventure this week.  They had previously launched a gear rental program with Arrive and now added a resale program with ThredUP.  Under the program, customers can rent a range of everyday and outdoor items, from flip-flops ($2) to tents ($21.50 and up).

Gain a Competitive Edge & Uncover Valuable Insights from Trove’s Branded Resale Index

Unlock the power of the Brand Resale Index and define your brand’s resale story in the $100B global market.

Download now for free and discover the leaders in fashion, outdoor, footwear, and luxury resale.