Resale as the New Retale: The Rise of Vestiare Collective

This past November, Vestiaire Collective have celebrated their tenth anniversary by introducing their first permanent shop on the third floor at Selfridges. The Parisian luxury resale website, set up in 2009 by Fanny Moizant and Sophie Hersan, has become a shopping staple for over nine million high-end thrifters worldwide. The boutique follows on from a successful two-week pop-up last year and has begun by selling a carefully curated edit of two hundred pre-loved garments that includes brands such as Chanel and Maison Margiela.

Illustration by Grace Han

The opening arguably indicates a shift in the way people think about their clothing consumption. With improved media coverage of climate change, it is unsurprising that so many of us are trying to reduce our contribution to an industry that is reportedly responsible for 10% of greenhouse gases. Moizant and Hersan have reacted to consumers’ awareness of ‘fashion and sustainability’ by challenging the ‘traditional ideas of ownership’ within retail; they advocate clothing as an investment that could be sold on rather than being thrown away after a few wears. Vestiaire Collective reports that extending the lifespan of a garment by a mere nine months could reduce its water and waste footprint by an astonishing 30%. If so, the circular fashion economy could potentially have a markedly positive impact on the environment.