American heritage brand Tommy Hilfiger has announced a partnership with pre-loved clothing app Depop. The Tommy Hilfiger seller page on Depop provides the brand a channel to sell Tommy Hilfiger clothing from its consumer take-back scheme, as well as partially damaged clothing from retail stores, e-commerce and wholesale partners. To celebrate the launch of Tommy Hilfiger on Depop, a joint campaign was created to showcase individual styles “Made by Tommy, Styled by Depop.” Three influential
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ial sellers from the Depop community, Bythepeace, Livokai and Pascaleeliza were given a variety of items from the collection to style in their own way, raising awareness of the collaboration among their Depop followers. Every Tommy Hilfiger piece within the collection sold on Depop has been cleaned and repaired for its next owner. The range of approximately 100 pieces has been curated for Depop’s UK-based community and includes sizes ranging from XXS-3XL. ”The collection has been carefully curated to drive brand desire among Depop’s community and allows us to engage with new audiences who want to enjoy our pieces in ways other than buying new. Through this partnership, we can elevate the attractiveness of resale by offering our signature, heritage style while reducing our overall impact,” says Esther Verburg, EVP of Sustainable Business and Innovation at Tommy Hilfiger. In August 2022, Tommy Hilfiger announced a partnership with ThredUp, one of America’s leading pre-loved thrift marketplace and consignment platforms. Also during 2022, other apparel brands began leveraging resale platforms to build in circular practices, such as Rent the Runway with ThredUp, and Balenciaga with Reflaunt, a resale-as-a-service platform. These partnerships highlight the resale market being a critical component of circularity within fashion. “Getting people excited about circular fashion is a key part of that – something that we know our partnership with Tommy Hilfiger will achieve. Together with four of our incredible sellers – Joel and Anna, Liv and Pascale (Bythepeace, Livokai and Pascaleeliza, respectively) – we’re thrilled to bring archival and more recent Tommy Hilfiger product to the Depop platform in a forward-thinking way, reaching and inspiring more people to adopt and rework secondhand pieces into their current wardrobe without sacrificing an inch of style,” Depop brand director Steve Dool said. This strategy shows that a stand-alone take-back scheme is not enough. There must also be a way of moving items through a system that keeps clothes in use for longer and/or incorporates a method to responsibly dispose of clothes such as textile recycling. Dool adds, “At Depop, we are driven by working alongside our community to reshape fashion consumption, promoting and celebrating a circular-first mindset.” The preppy apparel brand is going from strength to strength with its numerous initiatives, bringing together consumer engagement, circularity and digital-first experiences. Verburg believes that, “Launching our first UK resale program with Depop is an exciting and important step on our journey towards becoming a circular brand.” The secondhand clothing market has existed for decades. Thrift shopping is a hobby to many people, and in recent years wearing pre-loved clothing has been normalised by the emergence of more secondhand marketplaces and apps. This has created transparency around the detrimental impact of textile waste globally. Closing the loop A circular fashion model aims to close the loop on the traditional fashion production model, which typically consists of a make-take-waste mindset. From cradle to grave, every stakeholder of the supply chain should be looking at ways to reduce, reuse, repair and recycle the components for which they are responsible. This provides the necessary methods to close the loop, ensuring garments end life through responsible disposal and, where possible, being made into new products and materials. Many brands have recognised they must take action and are in the early stages of rolling out circular initiatives. However, Tommy Hilfiger shows that multiple initiatives working together will create optimum circularity. It’s believed that the heritage brand plans to have incorporated complete circularity and full traceability of key raw materials by 2025, as well as sustainably sourcing 100 per cent of its cotton and viscose. Australian solutions ready to integrate While Tommy Hilfiger is charging ahead with impressive goals and results to show for the effort, similar results can be achieved locally. There are several Australian-owned businesses that offer support to brands looking to integrate circular practices such as recycling and re-commerce solutions. For brands looking for rental and resale solutions, check out Rntr and Airrobe. These solutions can be incorporated into existing e-commerce sites easily and offer a simple way to start your circular journey. For textile recycling, keep Textile Recyclers Australia, Upparel and Blocktexx front of mind. And an overall good resource to access practical tools and resources is Common Objective, which was created as an intelligent business network for the fashion industry. The Common Objective platform matches members with the connections and resources they need to work in the most sustainable way possible. Tommy Hilfiger is on a trajectory toward becoming one of the first major fashion enterprises to put circularity first, while maintaining its legacy as a heritage brand. Its innovative programs and strategies are paving a new normal in fashion. Businesses of all sizes may be inspired to consider participating in a circular economy.