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Diesel Enters Resale, Enhances Pre-Owned Jeans with Polygiene

From new denim constructions, weights and washes to the steps global mills are taking to reduce impact, Rivet's SS23 In Season Look Book: Denim & Trims has everything you need to know for a successful denim season.

Just four months after it piloted a jeans buyback program in Italy, denim brand Diesel announced its foray into resale.

With 900 jeans collected and re-conditioned, the company announced Wednesday the launch of Diesel Second Hand. Available in Milan, Florence and Rome and on its European website, each restored pair features a red logo stamped across the back of the garment to indicate its resale status—a badge of honor Diesel says should “be celebrated.”

The buyback program was promoted in July through a campaign that, in Diesel fashion, offered a satirical take on old-school commercials by businesses that buy back gold. Called “Compro Denim,” which translates to “I Buy Denim” in English, the campaign featured former Italian soccer player Alessandro Orlando posing as a dealer weighing jeans on jewelry scales and examining worn-in hems under a microscope.

Upon collection, the pre-owned jeans are shipped to a facility based within 200 miles of Diesel’s headquarters in Breganze, Italy to maintain a small footprint. The jeans are then washed and treated with Polygiene’s ViralOff and OdorCrunch technology, a combined treatment featuring anti-microbial and odor-resistant properties that the denim brand began using during the Covid-19 pandemic. The treatment helps mitigate the need for water- and energy-intensive home washing, further lowering the jeans’ environmental impact.

Retail prices for Diesel Second Hand range from $150-$917 (130 to 795 euros). A rating system providing insight into the condition of the garment ranges from one, or “slightly worn” to three, or “like new.”

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The buyback program will continue to remain active in Italy, with plans to expand to other countries.

The secondhand range aligns with the brand’s “For Responsible Living” strategy, a concept it developed to address its sustainability efforts. For Spring/Summer 2022, the brand launched the Diesel Library, an evergreen collection of genderless garments backed by responsible manufacturing methods, including fabrics made with low-impact components such as organic and recycled fibers and finishing treatments using water- and chemical-reducing techniques.

The secondhand market has been on the incline for years, with no signs of slowing down. Brands such as Levi’s, Madewell and Guess have followed the movement, each recently launching it’s own take on a resale program. A recent survey from investment bank Piper Sandler found that 51 percent of teens have purchased and 62 percent have sold secondhand—four-point and seven-point increases, respectively, from the spring. It also estimated that teens allocate 8 percent of their shopping time to resale.