Hand-me-downs are heating up.
The latest entrant in the secondhand space? Marimekko Preloved, a new “community-driven” marketplace for the Finnish brand’s vintage and secondhand goods.
Opening Aug. 25, the platform will allow peer-to-peer and independent B2C sales to take place in “one concise” digital space, extending the lifespan of Marimekko’s products and helping the company fulfill one “key element” of its sustainability strategy, it said Monday.
“Marimekko’s design philosophy and operations have always been based on a sustainable approach—we want to provide our customers with timeless, functional and durable products that bring them long-lasting joy and that they will not want to throw away,” said Suvi-Elina Enqvist, head of innovation works at Marimekko. “Marimekko Pre-loved is a concrete example of our timeless design as it will enable our community to find pre-owned treasures, offering a new conscious and convenient alternative to bring joy to people’s everyday life through colors and prints.”
Built in collaboration with Archive, a resale technology firm, Marimekko Pre-loved revolves around the brand’s philosophy that “timeless design brings joy for generations to come.” Membership and listing items on the platform are completely free. Sellers will be able to redeem their earnings for cash or trade them in for a Marimekko gift voucher.
The marketplace is an extension of a pilot concept Marimekko introduced online last year to sell 60 vintage pieces in celebration of its 70th anniversary. While Marimekko Pre-Loved will only be available in Finland to begin with, the Adidas collaborator plans to extend the service to other markets in the “near future.” To celebrate the rollout, Marimekko will release a “special selection” of vintage dresses from the 1960s to 2000s from its archive.
“The launch of Marimekko Pre-loved marks an important step in our ambitious sustainability journey to further lengthen our product lifetime and contribute to the circular economy,” Enqvist said. “We are truly excited to introduce this inspiring, community-driven marketplace to people who love secondhand and vintage treasures and share a passion for bold prints and colors.”
Marimekko’s news comes as Mytheresa and Vestiaire Collective trumpeted the expansion of their resale partnership into the United States following a fruitful European debut.
“After great success in Europe we’re excited to bring our unique and innovative partnership with Vestiaire Collective to the hugely important U.S. market,” Mytheresa CEO Michael Kliger said last week. “The resale service will provide a real benefit to our loyal U.S. customers by giving their designer pieces a second life while at the same time we fulfill our ESG commitment to drive circularity within the industry.“
Mytheresa credits the year-old resale program’s “quick and easy” selling process for winning the luxury e-tailer’s customers over to circular fashion. The U.S. extension offers the service to Mytheresa’s top American customers, who’ll be able to solicit a price quote for their secondhand item through a dedicated landing page. As soon as the piece is checked and authenticated by Vestiaire Collective’s U.S. authentication center, the Mytheresa customer can expect immediate payment in form of Mytheresa store credit.
“We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Mytheresa to serve the United States market,” said Vestiaire Collective CEO Maximilian Bittner. “We’re confident that U.S. customers will appreciate our trustworthy authentication service and the simplicity of our platform, which has already been met with resounding success in Europe. By introducing more luxury consumers to resale, we hope to amplify its importance in building a more sustainable and inclusive fashion industry.”
One brand that is turning up its nose at the zeitgeist, however, is Hermès. The Birkin bag maker said Friday that it couldn’t be less interested in presenting its customers with pre-used options, which it said could inflate prices and encourage fakes.
“It would be to the detriment of our regular client who comes to the store,” CEO Axel Dumas said in a call with analysts after Hermès published its second-quarter results. The French house reported strong sales that were up 26 percent to 2.7 billion euros ($2.7 billion). Its operating margins jumped to a record high of 42 percent.
“It’s a pity and this not something that is encouraged by Hermès, and this is in fact something that we don’t approve of,” Dumas said of secondary market channels. “It obliges real customers to buy products that are much more costly in other situations and sometimes mixed with counterfeited products, and this is something that we don’t do and don’t at all support knowing that there is a certain hypocrisy in the secondhand market when its products are almost new.”