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Farfetch launches consumer fashion footprint tool

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Online luxury fashion platform Farfetch has launched an online fashion footprint tool to help consumers understand how to track the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions and how their pre-owned and conscious fashion choices can impact the planet.

The tool, part of Farfetch’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, is available on its website and will allow consumers, when choosing to make a purchase, to consider which materials can reduce the environmental impact of their purchase, and to see the environmental savings of incorporating pre-owned purchases into their wardrobes.

The aim of the new initiative Farfetch explained is to help empower its shoppers to “think, act and choose positively” and to ensure that sustainability remains front-and-centre for consumers.

The fashion footprint tool coincides with the launch of new research, commissioned by Farfetch in partnership with QSA, ICARO and London Waste and Recycling Board, which looked at the growth of the pre-owned market in the UK, the US and China, while examining the average environmental impacts (carbon, water, waste) for fashion items as well as the displacement rates, to see what extent shopping pre-owned fashion replaces the need to purchase new-season items.

Thomas Berry, director of sustainable business at Farfetch, said in a statement: “Existing data shows that luxury resale represents a 24 billion US dollar market that is growing four times faster than the primary luxury market, partly due to consumer interest in sustainable fashion, but data on resale’s environmental impact is limited.

“Farfetch has been selling a curated selection of pre-owned and vintage fashion online since 2010, and in 2019 launched two services offering customers the ability to sell or donate their pre-owned items. We wanted to better understand the environmental benefits of all these models as we continue to focus on projects to enable us and our partners to reduce environmental impacts.”

Farfetch continues to push sustainable initiatives with footprint tool for pre-owned fashion

Key findings from the report revealed that of the 3,000 people surveyed, 51 percent in the US said over half of their wardrobe is made up of pre-owned items, this fell slightly to 42 percent in the UK and down to 21 percent in China, however, on average those consumers purchased eight pre-owned items in 2019.

The US and UK pre-owned buyers purchased more clothing, whereas, in China, shoppers bought more footwear, jewellery and watches. In terms of average spend per pre-owned item, China spent the most with 88 US dollars, the US spent 59 US dollars and British consumers the least at 47 US dollars.

The top four reason for buying pre-owned were better price, rare item, environmental reasons, and good past experience, and the report found that displacement average was 57 percent overall from pre-owned fashion purchases prevented people buying something new, this was higher in the US and UK at 65 percent.

When it comes to the environmental impact of buying pre-owned, on average one pre-loved purchase can save 1 kilogram of waste, 3,040 litres of water and 22 kilograms of carbon dioxide.

Giorgio Belloli, chief commercial and sustainability officer at Farfetch added: “With this research, we want to support our partners and more broadly the luxury industry, in helping to drive positive change. In addition to the core-business initiatives we are launching within the sustainability space, we aim to become a source for data and tools in the circular space to drive this positive change. This marks the first step into that direction.”

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Images: courtesy of Farfetch

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