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4 Brands Collaborating with ThredUp to Reach Young Thrifty Shoppers

Gen Z and Millennials continue to fuel the secondhand shopping market, and these four brands have collaborated with ThredUp to reach young shoppers…


We’ve told you how secondhand shopping has been a trend on the rise for years now. YPulse’s sustainability research shows that 49% of Gen Z and Millennials have purchased secondhand clothing and accessories, and another 27% haven’t but are interested. Our shopping and retail report also shows that 20% have sold items on a resale site / app themselves. Gen Z and Millennials desire for a more eco-friendly way of shopping, coupled with their hunt for deals, have helped to make secondhand shopping platforms a success.

Resale platforms like Poshmark, Depop, and ThredUp have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, and COVID accelerated their growth even more. According to research from ThredUp and GlobalData, the secondhand market is expected to reach $77 billion by 2025, and is growing 11 times the rate of the broader retail clothing sector according to retail analytics firm GlobalData and ThredUp. ThredUp CEO James Reinhart says the company brought in $186 million in revenue—an increase of 14% from the previous year. The number of active buyers grew 24% last year, while 77% of its product supply came from repeat sellers. 

In late 2019, ThredUp launched their Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS) which offers retail partners the opportunity to use their services, including free secondhand ThredUp donating shipping labels with purchases, secondhand pop-up store activations, and store credits, for shoppers who sell their secondhand goods. Earlier this year, we rounded up all the brands that have partnered with Depop to reach young shoppers—but of course many brands are also partnering with ThredUp, with some resale programs within bigger fashion brands powered by ThredUp’s RaaS. Partnering with the platform helps to incorporate a touch of eco-friendliness, and budget friendliness into fashion brands that may not be known for being green, or affordable. Here are just four brands who have teamed up with ThredUp for programs and initiatives to reach thrifty young shoppers:

Madewell’s Secondhand Thrifted Denim Platform & Pop-Up Shop
YPulse’s sustainability research shows that 49% of Gen Z and Millennials have purchased secondhand clothing and accessories, and according to ThredUp, Madewell’s denim is one of their favorite styles to thrift. Madewell began working with ThredUp in 2019, but in the last year, they’ve expanded their partnership in several ways to continue reaching young customers. Powered by ThredUp’s RaaS service, Madewell introduced Madewell Forever, a shopping platform dedicated to “pre-loved” denim, over the summer to show their ongoing commitment to sustainable fashion. More than 3,000 denim styles ranging from $30 to $50 are available, along with a feed that refreshes each hour with new inventory. With Madewell Forever, the brand plans to welcome more than one million jeans to the program by 2023 as part of the brand’s large-scale circularity initiative. Meanwhile, in the fall, Madewell launched a pop-up shop in Williamsburg Brooklyn, New York for shoppers to buy some of their pre-owned products, ranging from $10 to $40. A first of its kind mending and alterations station was also available in the pop-up shop to help customers find the perfect fit.

Gossip Girl’s Thrifted Shopping Kits
As if the “Gossip Girl” reboot wasn’t already screaming Gen Z, young fans had the opportunity to to thrift their favorite looks from the show earlier this year. Ahead of the premiere of the Gossip Girl reboot on HBO Max, the show’s costume designer and stylist Eric Daman teamed up with ThredUp to give young fans the chance to thrift their favorite looks from the show. Together, the two curated boxes (a.k.a “thrifted shopping kits”), contained 10 pieces that “emulate the fashion identities” of Gossip Girl’s characters and main settings including Upper East Side, the Lower East Side, and Brooklyn, and shoppers were only charged for the items they keep, plus an additional $10 styling fee. While OG Gossip Girl (Millennial) fans may have shopped for their favorite looks directly from designers, sustainability is the new name of the game.

Adidas’ Choose to Give Back Program
In the spring, Nike launched their own Nike Refurbished resale platform to take back pre-owned sneakers and sportswear from customers to resell at reduced prices. At the beginning of the month, other athleticwear giant Adidas took a different approach with their new resale platform by enlisting the help of ThredUp’s RaaS platform. The Choose to Give Back program is aimed at helping to “extend the life” of sports performance and lifestyle apparel and footwear. The program will invite consumers to send used products from any brand back to Adidas via their Creator’s Club to be reused or resold. While it is currently only exclusively available to those who are Creators Club members, the brand says it plans to expand the program online and in stores early next year. Though it is currently available only to Creators Club members on Adidas’ app, the company said it plans to expand the program online and in stores early next year. According to ThredUp Senior VP and GM of Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS) Pooja Sethi: “Adidas has a reputation for driving innovative, sustainable solutions globally, and ThredUp is thrilled to support their latest initiative to encourage more circular habits among consumers. By enabling resale at scale with customizable solutions for leading brands and retailers, we’re high-quality clothes in use longer and fighting fashion waste.”

Fabletics x ThredUp Clean Out Kits
Adidas isn’t the only athleticwear brand partnering with ThredUp. The resale platform is known for its Clean Out Kits, which allow users to send in their clothes to receive money or online store credit—and their RaaS program has made it easier for brands to tap into that service. Loungewear and athleisure boomed during lockdowns—and Fabletics is attempting to reach new customers by offering Clean Out Kits to fill with clothes, shoes, and accessories from any brand and ship them back to ThredUp for free. Those who use the kits exclusively through Fabletics receive payment in the form of Fabletics credits, which will automatically be added to their Fabletics account and can be redeemed online or in-store for up to a year. According to CEO Adam Goldenberg:  “Fabletics’ move into resale is part of a broader strategy to become more environmentally conscious. this deal with ThredUp is a win-win for us and a good step into circularity—our customers now have a hassle-free way to give their unwanted clothing a second life, while gaining perks to refresh their closets, and we at Fabletics are excited to play a more meaningful role in creating a more sustainability-conscious fashion industry.” Meanwhile, apparel brands like Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister, Farfetch, Vera Bradley, and even electronic goods brand LG have since taken advantage of ThredUp’s Clean Out Kits by given their customers the opportunity to donate old clothing and accessories and receive credits from the brands.

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