Madewell is set on becoming a leader in the circular economy
Madewell announced on Monday the launch of Madewell Forever, a branded denim resale service.
The program expands on Madewell’s partnership with thredUp, which started with Madewell Archive, an in-store section selling the brand’s denim jeans. Madewell Forever brings the brand’s resale efforts online, as well, making it the first partner utilizing thredUP’s Resale-as-a-Service platform in stores and online.
Madewell is looking to double the average life of its garments with the program.
“We always aim to create quality products that are built to last our customers for years and years,” Madewell’s chief marketing officer Derek Yarbrough told RetailWire. “But we also understand that customers like to trade in the trends and try out new styles, so the best way to reduce impact in the retail industry is to address post-consumer waste by keeping the product in circulation longer.”
Customers looking to go the second hand route can bring their denim to Madewell stores and earn $20 off their next full-price purchase at the chain’s 132 stores or its website. Women’s denim items from Madewell will be sold on the Forever site if they meet quality standards.
High quality non-Madewell denim items will be sold on thredUp’s site. Any items falling short of standards will be recycled for housing insulation.
Mr. Yarbrough said that Madewell’s new initiative is not about driving revenues.
“We believe that sustainability is not about competition,” he said. “Our goal with this launch is to inspire others in the industry to address circularity for their own business; our hope is that we pave the way for others.”
Mr. Yarbrough said the brand’s decision to launch Madewell Forever was informed by feedback from customers.
“Our Madewell Group Chat program, which is a collective of about 5,000 people who have signed up to give us their feedback, found that our shoppers were growing more and more interested in the resale market,” he said.
The brand is targeting its Madewell Forever marketing efforts to younger consumers who are focused on sustainability issues. The company has “partnered with a group of creators who specialize in resale and secondhand with a focus on Gen-Z and TikTok,” said Mr. Yarbrough.
“These content verticals are newer areas for us to play in,” he said, “so we’re excited to reach their audiences and partner with these experts to create engaging posts.”
- Madewell Launches “Madewell Forever,” an Innovative Digital Resale Platform Powered by thredUP’s Resale-as-a-Service – Madewell press release
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will circular economy credentials be determinant of retail and brand success in the years to come? Is Madewell spot on or way off with its “sustainability is not about competition” approach?