Will Levi’s Secondhand store give the brand a sustainable advantage?
Levi Strauss is a brand that has a reputation for staying true to its corporate values on sustainability and other social issues and using those positions as the basis for money-saving and -making strategic business decisions. The same is true for its latest initiative, an online store that features secondhand clothing that will be sourced, in large part, from its customers.
Levi’s Secondhand online store is billed as both a means to reduce consumption and environmental waste and to create a consumer-direct revenue stream for the brand.
Owners of previously worn Levi’s jeans and denim jackets can drop off their clothing at designated stores to receive gift cards for future purchases. The brand will then professionally clean the items before placing them in its inventory on SecondHand.levi.com. In the process, consumers and Levi’s will keep used clothing out of landfills while gaining a financial benefit in the process. The brand points to estimates that show 73 percent of all new clothes purchased wind up in landfills or being burned in incinerators.
According to Levi’s “Off the Cuff” blog, items such as 1970s bell-bottoms and low-rise jeans from the 2000s are suddenly back in among denim fans looking for throwback styles. By reselling these and other items, Levi’s customers become part of a movement to create positive change.
The brand has created a video to address the subjective changes in garment measurements over the decade, such as jeans that were listed as having a 29-inch waist in the nineties designated as 32 in today’s environment.
Levi Strauss is convinced that SecondHand represents a significant business opportunity for the brand. The brand’s chief marketing officer, Jen Sey told Vogue that nearly 60 percent of Gen Z consumers currently buy secondhand clothing.
“They love the hunt, they love finding a really unique item, and it makes it even better that it’s a sustainable choice,” she said. “Buying a used pair of Levi’s saves approximately 80 percent of the CO2 emissions, and 1.5 pounds of waste, compared to buying a new pair. As we scale this, that will really start adding up.”
ThredUP’s 2019 annual recommerce report forecast used clothing sales growing to $51 billion by 2023 as Millennials and Gen Zers buy secondhand items two-and-a-half times faster than older consumers.
- Levi’s SecondHand
- About Levi’s SecondHand – Levi Strauss
- Vintage, Thrifted, SecondHand: Why Old Denim is New Again – Levi Strauss
- Levi’s Launches Its Own Recommerce Site and Buyback Program, Levi’s Secondhand – Vogue
- Is Walmart about to become the king of online resale retailing? – RetailWire
- Is ‘re-commerce’ going mainstream? – RetailWire
- NRF: Is the time right for retailers and brands to take political stands? – RetailWire
- Peers call Levi’s CEO a retail visionary – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you expect Levi’s SecondHand to do for the brand’s image and financial results? Does a brand selling secondhand clothing it originally produced have a sales advantage over retailer resellers in the same market?