Hugo Boss entrusts second-hand offering to French start-up Faume
This fall, the German Hugo Boss Group unveiled its second-hand line. Dubbed 'Pre-Loved', the collection is currently only available in Hugo and Boss' French online stores. The German group with a turnover of 2.79 billion euros has entrusted the French start-up Faume to help launch this new sustainable product offering.
Hugo Boss is not the first big name to have worked with the young Paris-based start-up. The company, based in the 2nd arrondissement of the French capital, is already behind the second-hand solutions of brands such as Isabel Marant, Sandro and Heimstone. However, Hugo Boss is undoubtedly its client with the highest sales volumes.
The task at hand will therefore be important for the start-up founded in 2019 by Aymeric Déchin. A young entrepreneur who previously worked at Doctolib, launched his own dating app and created another start-up in the wellness and sports sector. Four years ago, he recognized the impending shift in the fashion industry and launched a new project: an online retail platform for environmentally conscious brands.
"The multi-brand platform has allowed us to really understand the challenges of the industry, as well as the processing stages of the products and the logistical difficulties" detailed the executive. "By launching this start-up company, we took a first step, but we wanted to find an innovative way of doing business. And for us, this had to be built around eco-circularity. We were largely inspired by Patagonia's Worn Wear initiative, which allows the brand's second-hand activity to be managed by the group," he continued.
With Faume's three other co-founders, Nicolas Viant, Lucas Patricot and Jocelyn Kerbourc'h, the team devised a white-label solution for fashion brands to take charge of reselling their products themselves. During the first lockdown caused by the global pandemic in 2020, they felt the boost they needed as both online retail and the second-hand market grew in popularity, bringing in companies such as Balzac and Aigle as customers.
Since then, brands have become increasingly interested in the second-hand market and there has been stiff competition between service providers offering appropriate solutions to labels.
What does the Faume business model rely on? The start-up is not a logistics expert. It offers a solution that optimizes the links between customers/resellers, brands and logistics providers. For example, the second-hand section on the brand's website opens access to a space where second-hand pieces of verified quality can be purchased, but also to a resale interface. Each label sets the amount of purchase rewards that customers can receive and redeem in the form of a voucher, which are then credited within two weeks.
The sale of already used garments and accessories then takes place via the websites or in boutiques and corners of department stores.
"Each brand sets its rate," said Déchin. "Generally, they play with more or less attractive rewards depending on whether they want to have the second-hand piece on sale. The Kooples, for example, focuses on leather jackets. Currently we have about 85% of the second-hand products collected that are destined for resale, 10% that are repaired and 5% that, depending on the brand's strategy, can be given to upcycling projects or to fashion schools. On average, the goal is to find a balance with the second-hand offer, integrate the process and put together the products within six to nine months," he added.
Faume receives a commission for each product sold. Today, the company works with a service provider in Châteauroux, France, to process the products sent in by customers. The latter was already involved in the collaboration with Aigle and helped improve the company's software. Faume, which has 30 employees, is now looking to expand with a new warehouse in the Benelux region.
A second round of financing in the coming months could allow Faume to beef up its team and add impetus to these projects.
"We are developing a software for logistics players but also for brands that can integrate it into their program from 2023. But we think that we can go further with this. For a brand, this serves as a tool for building customer loyalty. It can also differentiate itself from fast fashion. But in the future, the voucher could be targeted, for example, specifically to products that meet ethical or eco-responsible criteria. What we want is to promote a more sustainable business model", explained the executive.
Faume's team is planning to roll out this model in other European markets with Hugo Boss and other brands in the coming months.
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