Is Diesel the next jean brand to step into secondhand denim?
A recent Instagram post by Diesel founder Renzo Rosso promotes a budding buy-back program for pre-owned Diesel jeans that may become the brand’s future resale business.
Rosso posted a Diesel-branded video last week that riffs on old-school commercials by businesses that buy back gold. Called “Compro Denim,” which translates to “I Buy Denim” in English, the clip shows former Italian soccer player Alessandro Orlando as a dealer weighing jeans on jewelry scales and examining worn-in hems under a microscope.
The caption states: “You think it’s old we tell you it’s gold! The Diesel jeans you worked all summer to afford when you were 16? The denim you lived in but can’t fit anymore? Bring them to the closest Diesel store in Italy and a nice surprise awaits you (in preparation of an even bigger surprise next fall).”
A spokesperson told Rivet the buy-back program is a pilot currently available in Italy that will be extended to other countries later this year.
Diesel appears to be taking a more hands-on approach to developing its secondhand business compared to other brands such as Madewell, which recently partnered with online consignment platform ThredUp to collect and sort the brand’s pre-owned jeans.
It is, however, a similar approach to Levi’s, which bowed Levi’s SecondHand last October. The buy-back program allows customers to purchase secondhand jeans and jackets on Levi.com while also giving consumers the opportunity to turn in their worn jeans and jackets in Levi’s stores for a gift card towards a future purchase.
Developing a secondhand market is a strategic move for the brand as it targets a younger demographic. In June, Etsy’s $1.6 billion acquisition of Depop, billed as “the resale home for Gen Z consumers,” magnified the popularity of secondhand fashion among the cohort. It may also do wonders to help elevate the brand. A recent ThredUp survey conducted by GlobalData analysts found that 32 percent of respondents said they were more likely to perceive a brand as “high quality” if it sold both used and new items.
Dealing in secondhand jeans complements Diesel’s sustainable vision. Along with using deadstock denim in the Spring/Summer 2021 collection, Diesel creative director Glenn Martens recently announced the launch of the Diesel Library, a line of evergreen denim. At least half of the collection will be designed to have a permanent shelf life in Diesel’s business.