ThredUp and Madewell on Thursday announced the launch of A Circular Store in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, according to a joint press release by the companies. The store is open through Oct. 31.
The location includes secondhand Madewell products sourced from ThredUp, and the shopping experience is designed to “educate consumers on the power of making clothes to last and why keeping them in use is important.”
A Circular Store is the first time customers can shop a full assortment of secondhand Madewell clothing, mend and tailor clothes, and “pass them on responsibly,” according to the announcement.
“Every single year we throw away nearly 36 billion items of clothing in the U.S. Luckily, 95% of them could be given a second chance,” a wall in A Circular Store informs shoppers.
The concept space includes secondhand Madewell clothes, with prices ranging from $10 to $40. But, the physical space is primarily a means to educate the public of what circular fashion could look like in the future. Customers can visit three shoppable stations, each demonstrating a pillar of circular fashion: using sustainable materials to create clothes that can be resold, extending the life of clothes through resale and extending the life of fabrics through mending and proper clothing care. QR codes are at each station so customers can learn more about circular fashion.
The physical location is an extension of Madewell Forever, an online resale platform introduced in July that is stocked by both ThredUp and Madewell. “Madewell worked closely with ThredUp to develop a unique, white-labeled resale channel including a digital shop — the first of its kind enabled by” the service, the companies said at the time of the launch.
The store features other unique touches, including a mending station where people can bring their own clothes to have them repaired on-site, or have their in-store purchases tailored. Madewell is also reusing tote bags so no packaging materials are created or wasted. Clean Out Kits, a staple offering of ThredUp, are available, and the location will be used for educational programming including workshops with Patagonia’s Worn Wear team.
“We’ve designed a store to represent the future of fashion — a circular future in which retailers design for longevity, and consumers shop with resale in mind,” Erin Wallace, vice president of integrated marketing at ThredUp, said in a statement. “We believe that retail and resale working together is a necessary next step in achieving our vision of a circular future for fashion.”
Secondhand apparel sales are projected to reach $77 billion in five years, which will outpace the wider market by eleven-fold, according to a report released earlier this year by ThredUp. Forty-two percent of retailers agree that used clothing will be “an important part of their business,” while 60% of retailers reported they have already offered or are open to resale.
Written by Kaarin Vembar for Retail Dive