Expanding Vestiaire Collective opens UK authentication centre, "Brexit-proofs" resale
The centre soft-launched late last year and is the fourth such hub globally for Vestiaire, joining locations in France, the US and Hong Kong.
High-end resale is continuing to grow in Britain but Brexit has created complications for items coming from outside of the country. While the Brexit deal was touted as a tariff-free agreement, the reality is that shoppers buying both new and pre-owned items from Europe have been forced to pay more and wait for longer.
Vestiaire Collective said that Brexit has “stifled” demand for second-hand items, by driving purchase fees higher, creating longer lead times and some categories not even being able to be shipped across borders.
It was also revealed by a UKFT survey that 74% of fashion businesses have experienced setbacks due to Brexit-based cost hikes. This has worsened since the start of this year when full customs declarations and controls were introduced.
The company said that authentication expertise has always been “at the heart of its trusted experience, and the warehouse will ensure the best customer service by reducing lead times and delivery fees”.
This makes it “the only large-scale player in the fashion market to offer a trusted, sustainable and Brexit-proof experience”.
It has created 50 specialist jobs and says its new team can ensure that up to 1,000 items per day will be diverted from requiring authentication in France, also reducing their carbon footprint by as much as 10 times.
The move comes as it released figures showing that one-third of UK fashion buyers planned to buy or bought second-hand over the festive period. And nearly one in three started selling or selling more in the last year. Almost a quarter “find expertise in physical authentication the most reliable way to ensure trust in the purchase of second-hand fashion items”. And close to a third “found online shopping more expensive since Brexit and experienced longer lead times”.
It also said almost one in six consumers now have wardrobes containing 50% second-hand fashion and large numbers are seeking clothes that have a lower environmental impact, offer greater value and are more unique.
Company CEO Maximilian Bittner said: “Vestiaire Collective has already established that style shouldn’t come at the cost of the environment. But Brexit has hindered the UK’s drive for a sustainable future. British consumers have been unfairly penalised at a time when counterfeits are increasing and so the need for world-leading experts is more crucial than ever. Our new hub will make circular fashion more accessible, trusted and sustainable than ever before, so it can truly compete with and stem the tide of fast fashion’s impact on the planet.”
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