J. Crew introduced a holiday this year - National Stripes Day - to help boost falling sales. Today is another makeshift holiday, this time for a good cause and courtesy of TheRealReal and Stella McCartney: National Consignment Day. The luxury consignment website has teamed up with London-based designer Stella McCartney for the inaugural day, which will take place on the first Monday of every October.
As set forth by The RealReal in a statement on Monday, this new official holiday “solidifies TheRealReal's consignment model as a key stimulator of the circular economy. In celebration of the new holiday, The RealReal is announcing a strategic relationship with Stella McCartney, the first luxury lifestyle brand committed to sustainability" to promote the extended lifecycle of luxury products.
For the uninitiated, central to the idea of a circular fashion economy (a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing, and narrowing material and energy loops) is working to increase the active lifetime of individual garments and accessories. This can reduce the amount of materials consumed and delay the point at which clothing is recycled or disposed of.
As noted by the Conversation earlier this year, some retailers are trying to implement consumer-friendly measures of sustainability and "embracing the circular economy by increasing their use of recycled and sustainable materials. Swedish [fast fashion giant] H&M is one of the latest to join in, following brands such as Levi Strauss and Patagonia. Laudable though this is, a growing body of evidence suggests that other approaches could do just as much – if not more – to reduce the amount of clothing sent to landfill and help to improve resource security."
And there is where TheRealReal comes in. The wildly-popular San Francisco-based consignment site is aiming to aid in the movement towards achieving a truly circular fashion experience by making it possible (and convenient) for consumers to sell their no-longer-wanted fashion and luxury goods and in turn, by providing a place for consumers to shop authentic consigned goods.
Unlike lower quality fast fashion garments, which tend to significantly diminish in quality after a few wears, luxury goods tend to have a longer shelf life, making them the perfect products for circular shopping.
According to Stella McCartney, a partnership with TheRealReal in furtherance of making the fashion industry a more circular one, just made sense: "Sustainability is important to us. We believe that consignment and re-commerce can play a significant part in reducing the amount of raw materials that are required each year from our planet.”
She continues on to note, “This is key in our commitment to becoming part of a more circular economy. By ensuring that our products are used for the entirety of their lifecycle it is possible to begin to slow down the amount of natural resources currently being cultivated and extracted from the planet for the sake of fashion."
The RealReal CEO and founder Julie Wainwright added, "Sustainability has been in The RealReal's and Stella McCartney's core since day one. The RealReal was founded to extend the lifecycle of luxury products in a trusted, dynamic marketplace. I am thrilled that we will be working with Stella McCartney to further both of our missions of extending the lifecycle of luxury goods and creating a greener planet. National Consignment Day allows us to raise awareness about the circular economy, especially as it applies to the luxury market."
The new holiday, according to TheRealReal aims "to celebrate consignment as the smart, sustainable - and fashion-friendly - way to shop, earn money and extend the lifecycle of luxury."
As for how you can take part in this new holiday, TheRealReal suggests visiting its site for a free price quote or to schedule an in-home pickup of items you would like to consign, sending items to the GOOD+ Foundation instead of throwing them away, and helping to raise awareness by using the #NeverThrowAway hashtag on social media.