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Vestiaire Collective opens first offline boutique

Secondhand fashion site Vestiaire Collective has opened a bricks-and-mortar boutique in Selfridges’ London department store, kicked off an online ‘treasure hunt’ and released new insight into user behaviour in celebration of its 10th anniversary.

Launched by Fanny Moizant in France in 2009, Vestiaire Collective is an online marketplace that facilitates the buying and selling of pre-owned fashion, with a strong focus on luxury and designer brands.

The site today has more than 9 million members around the world, including in Australia, where it has been ramping up in recent years. Its growth has been driven by several converging retail trends, including the decluttering craze sparked by Marie Kondo and the eco-friendly appeal of buying secondhand.

In a recent survey of its members, Vestiaire Collective found that 65 per cent primarily sell on the platform to make room in their wardrobe, with 42 per cent saying they enjoyed the feeling of freeing up space after doing a clear out.

Fifty-four per cent said they were driven to shop for fashion in a sustainable way. When asked what they valued most about buying secondhand, 41 per cent cited the sustainable aspect.

Sixty-three per cent of members said they liked finding unique, rare or original pieces on the platform, and 66 per cent said they were drawn to the thrill of selling pieces they no longer wear.

“Selling is a social activity by nature. Previous research has shown that emotional and social motivations are important drivers of resale,” said
behavioural scientist Professor Benjamin Voyer, lecturer at the department of entrepreneurship at ESCP Europe Business School, who partnered wtih Vestiaire Collective on the survey.

“People get paradoxically excited by the unpredictability surrounding the sale, making marketplaces more exciting than traditional e-commerce.”

Tapping into this ‘thrill of the hunt’, Vestiaire Collective has launched a digital treasure hunt in celebration of its 10th anniversary. The marketplace has listed 100 desirable items for just €2.

The marketplace also recently opened its first permanent offline boutique in Selfridges’ London department store. The boutique carries unique pieces, including a selection of 10 rare vintage from brands including Paco Rabanne, Maison Martin Margiela and Versace.

It also offers a drop-off service, where customers can deposit items for resale through the concierge service and Vestiaire Collective app.

“Responding to changes within the consumer landscape, this partnership aims to raise awareness of the importance of circular fashion in order to drive positive long-lasting change in the fashion ecosystem,” Max Bittner, Vestiaire Collective’s CEO, said.

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