Vera Bradley Inc. is making sustainability a priority.
The lifestyle brand is partnering with actor and producer Lana Condor to launch its Recycled Cotton collection.
Crafted from 50 percent recycled and 50 percent conventional cotton, and for the first time available in solid colors, the collection has the same soft feel and performance as Vera Bradley’s iconic cotton. The Recycled Cotton collection is lightweight and washable, and includes all of the brand’s core styles–tote bags, duffels, crossbody bags and accessories–in fresh patterns including new Rain Forest Canopy and seven vibrant solid colors: Climbing Ivy Green, Rich Orchid, Citronella Glow, Turquoise Sky, Summer Rain, Desert Flower Pink and Black.
The collection also features six new utility silhouettes, including a sling backpack, crossbody and small crossbody bag, tote, backpack and travel bag that bring the functionality of Vera Bradley’s designs to the bags’ exterior with lots of pockets, handy clips and wear-them-your-way styles. The utility collection includes the limited-edition Lana Utility Backpack, with special custom details created by Condor, including a soft blush trim, color-block striping and a colorful Ballet Blooms patterned lining.
“I have loved…Vera Bradley forever, so I am so excited for this to be my first-ever fashion collaboration,” Condor said. “One of my very first bags was a Vera Bradley petal pink duffel that my mom gave to me for ballet lessons, so this is such a full circle moment for me. I am bag obsessed, but backpacks are definitely my thing. I love everything about the Lana Utility Backpack–all of the pockets, the drawstring, the chunky clasps and thoughtful details. It’s very fresh and wearable, and my go-to bag right now.”
Beatrice Mac Cabe, chief creative officer of Vera Bradley, said the Recycled Cotton fabric “expresses our vision to make the world a brighter, happier place.”
“Sustainability is so important to us, and we’re constantly researching and innovating to bring our customers more eco-friendly options,” Mac Cabe said. “We made sure this recycled cotton had the same softness, comfort and vibrancy as the signature cotton Vera Bradley fans have loved since 1982.”
Vera Bradley is focused on reducing its environmental impact and is committed to updating 100 percent of its fabrics to more sustainable alternatives by 2025. By using Recycled Cotton, Vera Bradley is giving discarded materials new life, while using as few environmental resources as possible. The company estimates that the use of recycled cotton will improve its water scarcity impact by 43 percent and reduce its global warming impact by 13 percent.
The Vera Bradley Recycled Cotton collection retails for $15 to $140 and is now available online, in Vera Bradley full line stores and in department and specialty stores throughout the country.
Meanwhile, the Indiana-based womenswear brand has also announced an official partnership with online resale marketplace ThredUp, in a further effort to promote sustainability and combat fashion waste.
Vera Bradley will offer ThredUp Clean Out Kits in its stores and online to help customers give new life to their old favorites and other high-quality used items from any brand in their closet. Customers who participate in the program will earn Vera Bradley gift cards to purchase new sustainable styles like Recycled Cotton and ReActive, made from recycled plastic bottles.
The partnership will be powered by ThredUp’s Resale as a Service (RaaS) platform, which allows brands to tailor their own participation in the marketplace’s secondhand scheme. Other brands and retailers like Gap, Madewell and Reformation have used RaaS to create customized, scalable resale experiences, ThredUp said.
“As consumers start dressing up and traveling again, they are looking to refresh their wardrobes,” Pooja Sethi, ThredUp’s RaaS senior vice president and retail partnerships lead, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to power an easy and sustainable way for shoppers to earn credit towards Vera Bradley’s vibrant patterns and travel bags.”
Sethi added that allowing retailers and brands like Vera Bradley to access ThredUp’s operating platform broadens the value of secondhand commerce. The program “proves that ‘good for business’ and ‘good for planet’ do not need to be mutually exclusive,” she said.
The decision to push its RaaS mission was bolstered by new data from ThredUp’s forthcoming 2021 Resale Report, the company said, which revealed that 80 percent of shoppers plan to refresh their wardrobes post-pandemic.
A whopping 159.4 million U.S. consumers are itching to rid themselves of clothing, the data showed, with more than 46 percent planning to toss items that no longer fit and almost one-quarter planning to ditch their quarantine duds.
What’s more, 155.9 million American shoppers also plan to refresh their wardrobes with new staples. More than one-third said they would purchase products suited for events like work and travel, which were put on pause during the Covid crisis, while 31 percent of shoppers simply hope to upgrade their style.