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Pre-loved offerings enable retailers to ‘unlock value in waste’, says eBay


eBay’s, head of pre-loved fashion, Lucy Peacock has stressed that a more circular approach to fashion can provide retailers with an opportunity to make money from something that would otherwise end up in landfill.

During their Retail Without Borders session, Peacock explained that while she hates the word waste, “because it sounds like it’s going in the bin”, pre-loved items can still be sold for really good value online. Retailers simply need to understand their waste stream first, and realise they do have alternatives of where that waste can go.

Furthermore, Peacock noted that a move towards more sustainable fashion is needed to future-proof business.

“There’s only so many resources in the world. They’re going to carry on depleting. The costs of those resources are going to go up. So how do you pivot your business and unlock other areas?” questioned Peacock.

“You have already spent money making that garment, why wouldn’t you then think about how to get the most value out of it?

“A lot of businesses will only think about a garment until the point of sale. But there’s this whole other world that exists that people don’t understand – what’s going on with that garment after that.”

The session looked at not only the environmental benefit of recommerce and resale services but also its impact on customer loyalty – as they discover new brands on such pre-loved platforms. Peacock explained that retailers can engage with new customers by offering a second-hand service, she added that there was “lots of value untapped”.

Additionally, it is not simply fashion retailers that can access this value with the principles of a circular economy working across a range of product categories. An example of this would be refurbished technology.

See inside eBay’s Refurbished Residency, following Internet Retailing’s visit to the London pop-up.

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