There’s been a pretty big shift in the fashion landscape over the last few years, as more of us ditch newness for vintage and secondhand finds – with luxury labels coming out on top as the most desired by shoppers. ‘Demand for preloved is at an all time high and the market is only set to grow,’ says Clare Richardson, founder of secondhand luxury platform Reluxe. ‘Some predict the second hand market will reach £64 billion in value globally by 2025.’ We sat down with Clare to talk about the rise of preloved fashion, curated wardrobes and how Reluxe came to be.
Clare Richardson On The Rise Of Preloved Fashion
Hi Clare, thanks for joining us today? Can you please kick us off by introducing yourself to our readers?
Thank you so much for inviting me! I’m Clare Richardson, the founder of Reluxe. I have worked in the fashion industry for over 20 years as a stylist and brand consultant working with the likes of US and UK Vogue, WSJ Magazine, Hermes and Cos amongst others.
For those that don’t know, what is Reluxe?
Reluxe is a luxury preloved site – a guilt free and accessible way for people to indulge their love of fashion and refresh their wardrobes while doing good for the planet. As so many of us try to consume fashion in a more sustainable way, Reluxe is a platform where you can buy the best, authentic preloved items as well as sell pieces that you might no longer want in your wardrobe.
And how does the platform work from the POV of those using it?
Reluxe has an exceptional white glove service, a rigorous authentication process and an unrivalled, editorial edit of the very best preloved. We are also happy to try to source specific pieces for our customers – tracking down that one piece that got away for someone is very special. Finding pieces you love and could not get the first time around is really part of the joy of shopping for preloved.
What makes Reluxe different from other preloved fashion platforms?
Our inventory is thoroughly edited – we would never fire-hose our customers with newness, this is about finding special pieces that you will want to have in your wardrobe for a long time. We have an unrivalled network of sellers with us too – many well known names, editors, writers and stylists so we really do have access to some of the best wardrobes in the world.
We are creating a really special community around us and have shot the likes of Zinnia Kumar, Laura Bailey, Veronika Heilbrunner, Amber Valetta and Gucci Westman for the site.
As so many of us look to change our habits, this is about creating a sustainable luxury shopping environment.
And what’s the main mission for Reluxe?
We are very focused on making meaningful change in the industry – we have seen a huge demand since launch but in truth all retailers need to mainstream preloved far quicker to make the collective impact we need to on how we shop and what we shop for.
Reluxe is a resale platform that is a curated and luxury experience, not only selling the best product, and delivering it sustainably – via compostable packaging and electric bikes – but also offering a narrative that inspires and educates.
I think people are less and less worried about ‘newness’, which has always been the main hurdle for preloved. Creating a luxury shopping environment is really important to me, I want shopping for preloved to still feel a treat and scrolling through our site should feel like opening a treasure box rather than having to endlessly scroll to find that piece you want…
Did you always know you wanted to create a platform like Reluxe, or did you have a ‘green lightbulb’ moment?
I have always shopped for preloved ever since my college days at Central Saint Martins. Then it was about finding special, distinctive pieces. Now it is more about wanting to shop in a better, more sustainable way. Seeing first hand the amount of waste in the industry and feeling dissatisfied with the fast fashion model being adopted across the industry inspired me to start Reluxe.
How did everything come together?
Hard work, great advice and a great team! We are constantly sourcing new pieces across the globe – the inventory is the most crucial aspect.
Unfortunately, fashion plays a pretty large role when it comes to producing climate-altering emissions and waste. What makes you hopeful about the future of fashion?
Demand for preloved is at an all time high and the market is only set to grow. Some predict the second hand market is will reach £64 billion in value globally by 2025. The surge of attention on how to consume better, more responsibly and more thoughtfully is growing across every section of the industry which is so positive.
How do you think we can live a life in balance?
We have to remind ourselves that the impact of lots of small changes can be huge. Try to make small changes, embrace new ways of looking at things, try to buy more preloved and focus on things you love and that you know will be in your wardrobe for a long time.
And finally, any parting words for our readers?
My hope is that Reluxe will genuinely help change our shopping habits for the better. I can only encourage you to try to shop for preloved if you haven’t before and streamline that wardrobe – it makes getting dressed in the morning so much easier and you could earn extra from those pieces that are long forgotten and unworn.
You can browse Clare’s preloved curations at reluxefashion.com
Images courtesy of Reluxe (Featured image: Amber Valletta in a Chloé banana top & MIH jeans)