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Farfetch Muscles in on The RealReal’s Territory With New Resale Program

Luxury e-tailer Farfetch announced a new collaboration that promotes circularity while giving back to charitable organizations, moving into territory popularized by platforms like The RealReal.

In partnering with Thrift+, an online second-hand retailer, Farfetch is now allowing shoppers to donate to chosen charities using credits that they earn for their used garments and goods.

To participate in the program, shoppers order a branded donation bag, fill it up with their worn items, and ship it back to Thrift+ for free. Whatever sells through the Thrift+ x Farfetch program earns participants credits, which they can use toward purchases on the Farfetch website, or donate to their favorite charity.

Program participants can also donate just a portion of the proceeds from their sales, while keeping some credits for themselves. Thrift+ retains a third of the profits as a fee for running the service.

“Farfetch is on a mission to become the global platform for good in luxury fashion–empowering everyone to think, act and choose positively,” the company said on its website. The Thrift+ partnership offers shoppers “a luxury donation service that enables you to raise money for your chosen cause and extend the life of your clothes,” Farfetch said.

The program accepts garments from both contemporary and high street brands in “excellent condition,” and credits can be donated to any registered U.K. charity.

In June, Farfetch, British clothing line Ted Baker and Swiss outdoor apparel startup FW announced their participation in the Circular Fashion Fast Forward program, spearheaded by the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) and consultancy firm QSA Partners.

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The program was designed to help brands and retailers create their own bespoke approaches to circularity, to be shared in the form of case studies with the industry at large.

At the time, the company’s director of sustainable business, Thomas Berry, described resale and rental models as “big commercial opportunities” for the online marketplace. Farfetch began a partnership with Armarium, a rental program, at its Browns stores in 2018.

Then, the company launched Farfetch Second Life in May of this year, allowing shoppers to trade in their luxury handbags in exchange for site credits.

“Like the online luxury market, the pre-owned luxury market is growing rapidly, and is likely to double in size to reach $51 billion over the next five years,” said Giorgio Belloli, the company’s chief commercial and sustainability officer, explaining that the handbag program would allow the company to enter the secondhand market and test consumers demand.

Those efforts appear to have proven fruitful, as Farfetch is embarking on its latest resale initiative less than six months later. “We know our consumers would like an easy way to clear their wardrobes of unused items, and at the same time, they would like to feel positive about it,” said Berry.