Vinted: Second hand, second life

Sustainable fashion isn’t just about having to make ethical choices – it’s actually the smarter choice.

Looking to be more sustainable but don’t know where to start? Why not start in your wardrobe? We sat down with Natacha Blanchard, Consumer Lead at Vinted, to find out more about sustainable fashion and their future goals. With 45 million registered members globally across 14 countries, Vinted is the largest customer-to-customer online marketplace in Europe.

It is critical that sustainable fashion is not an ethical choice only anymore, but becomes the smarter choice – more convenient, more affordable and distributing economic value for all those involved.

– Natacha Blanchard, Consumer Lead, Vinted

Vinted is an online hub dedicated to second-hand fashion where sellers can offload their unwanted clothes and buyers can purchase pre-loved items from Vinted’s members. This is not only positive to the consumer, as they can free-up space in their wardrobe and make a bit of extra cash. It also positively effects the environment, reducing the amount of clothes going to landfill, while reducing the need for additional production of fresh clothing.

The environmental effects

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, the fashion industry is the second biggest consumer of water, contributing to 20 per cent of the world’s wastewater output. Research has also found that, along with the 79 trillion litres of water consumed by the industry, it also releases half a million tons of synthetic microfibers into the ocean annually. This wastewater contributes to habitat contamination, increases waterborne diseases, contributes to soil degradation and further damage to the environment.

Fast Fashion Facts

  • ‘Fast Fashion’ refers to ‘cheaply produced and priced garments’ that is rapidly designed, produced, and distributed to aid retailers in supplying large quantities of clothing at a low price to customers
  • ‘Fast Fashion’ refers to ‘cheaply produced and priced garments’ that is rapidly designed, produced, and distributed to aid retailers in supplying large quantities of clothing at a low price to customers

Researchers have urged for a transition back to ‘slow’ fashion, with a view that a change in consumer habits is the only way to improve the sustainability of the fashion industry long-term. This is why second-hand companies such as Vinted are so important. Vinted’s business model of circularity means that clothes that have already been produced can be moved from one customer to another, allowing customers to have access to clothes for longer, lessening the need for further clothing production.

According to Natacha Blanchard, Vinted’s mission is “to accelerate the transition from a take- make- waste economy towards a circular fashion economy.”

Currently, the average consumer buys 60 per cent more pieces of clothing than 15 years ago and each item is only kept for half as long. Vinted provides a more environmentally friendly way of consuming, and extends the life of items that would go to landfill. Natacha adds: “We believe that this circularity is a key to sustainability and a large part of the solution to our environmental crisis.”

Looking to the future

So, what’s next for Vinted? They now want to expand their already-large UK-based community of buyers and sellers. They are also investing further in their technology to make second-hand fashion a seamless process. For example, recent app updates for UK consumers have enhanced the user experience. They believe these strides to making buying and selling second-hand clothes in that seamless process are essential to affecting change in the fashion industry.

Vinted exemplifies a true future-positive mentality as they display how small steps can result in greater change. They offer a more environmentally conscious way of consuming which not only positively impacts their users’ pockets, but also provides an outlet to fashion lovers who still want to shop sustainably.

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