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Meet the Startup Making Secondhand Fashion Feel Like Firsthand

Resale’s exponential growth has compelled denim behemoths like Levi’s and Guess to join the secondhand movement in recent years. However, brands with smaller budgets or those that lack the necessary resources may find it more challenging to follow in their circular fashion footsteps.

Enter resale platform Treet, which provides a turnkey service for brands looking to set up their own resale sites. Treet’s platform mirrors brands’ existing e-commerce sites so the shopping experience is seamless for users toggling between new and pre-worn garments.

Sellers can upload images and set prices for their pre-loved garments from brands that work with Treet. All listings are submitted to Treet for review before they’re posted, giving brands the opportunity to select which items appear on their site. They can also set condition requirements and determine minimum selling prices to ensure items aren’t sold below a given price. Sellers are given two options to redeem their funds: They can choose cash, with a 10 percent cut that goes to the brand and another 10 percent cut that goes to Treet, or brand credit with a 10 percent cut that goes to Treet.

In addition to the traditional resale model which allows buyers and sellers to list and find items, the brand itself is also able to showcase its own second-quality items—those with slight defects such as a discolored wash, inconsistent stitching or irregular cut—as well as any other garments sitting idly in their warehouse. Historically, these garments are either sold at a discount or otherwise discarded.

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Much like the resale market itself—which ThredUp projects to be worth $53 billion by 2023—Treet has also quickly ascended the ladder of success. Launched in March 2021 with just five brands as clients, the company closed a $2.8 million seed round in May, and now powers resale for 40 brands, including sustainable denim label Boyish Jeans.

According to Treet co-founder and CEO Jake Disraeli, Boyish was an ideal resale candidate, with a laser-sharp focus on sustainability from its inception.

“Boyish sees resale as being more than just a revenue maker,” Disraeli told Rivet. “For them, it’s a way to expand their already circular mission.”

Within a year of integrating Treet, Boyish sold hundreds of items and attained a 60 percent monthly sell-through rate for all resale garments. It also helped attract new customers, as 58 percent of shoppers had never previously purchased from Boyish.

Treet reports that the integration takes brands less than two weeks to set up and become profitable, and its team handles all of the logistics and customer support required.

The concept for Treet came after Disraeli attempted to launch his own direct-to-consumer brand focused on sustainable men’s apparel, but was encouraged by his co-founder and chief technology officer Sonia Yang to pivot to something with a greater environmental impact.

“We thought, instead of being the brand, let’s be the tool that can power any brand to be more sustainable,” he said.

While Boyish is the platform’s only denim brand at the moment, Disraeli noted that the category lends well to the secondhand market, as its durable material keeps jeans in use for longer.

“We’re seeing that denim is one of the most popular categories within resale, and it probably has the best case to be made for keeping items out of landfills,” he said.

The platform’s use extends into “whichever categories make sense,” and has included diaper bags, outerwear, children’s apparel and more. Looking ahead, the company is focused on becoming a more holistic circular solution.

“We want to expand our offerings to ensure that items don’t end up in a landfill,” he said. “We’re working on solutions for recycling, upcycling and returns so we can make secondhand fashion feel firsthand for customers around the world.”