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Apparel and accessories

Stella McCartney, The RealReal launch circular economy campaign

April 19, 2018

The RealReal and Stella McCartney are promoting a circular economy. Image courtesy of The RealReal


In honor of Earth Day, fashion label Stella McCartney and secondhand marketplace The RealReal are teaming up to promote more sustainable buying habits.

Expanding on their existing partnership (see story), the two have kicked off a multichannel movement aimed at inspiring consumers to buy higher quality items that can have a lifespan after them. Fashion is a significant contributor to landfills, with the average U.S. consumer discarding 70 pounds of textiles per year, calling for a change toward more mindful consumption.

“Our Earth Day campaign with Stella McCartney is all about expanding people’s perception of sustainability to include resell," said Julie Wainwright, CEO and founder of The RealReal, in a statement. "We want people to think about buying well so their items can be circulated numerous times in the economy.

“We’re proud to stand with a brand that has such integrity like Stella McCartney and to promote the circular economy and its impact on sustainability.”

Luxury lifespan
Launched April 19, The RealReal and Stella McCartney’s “The Future of Fashion is Circular” campaign promotes a “make well, buy well, resell” apparel cycle. Buying things that are well made allows consumers to consign rather than throwing away garments when they no longer want them.

A television advertisement visualizes this circular fashion economy showing women as they buy, wear and pass on their items to each other. The campaign also spans social media and radio placements.

The RealReal x Stella McCartney

Providing monetary incentives for consumers to consign, those who resell a Stella McCartney item on The RealReal will receive $100 to spend on a new Stella McCartney purchase.

The label’s sales associates in brand boutiques are also getting the word out. Frontline staff are incentivized to let consumers know that they can consign their items when they are finished with them.

Stella McCartney and The RealReal are also hosting a charity sale for charity Thames21, which focuses on cleaning up bodies of water in the London area. Items available for purchase include Stella McCartney merchandise made with organic materials.

“At Stella McCartney we have been working for years to ensure that our supply chains represent some of the most traceable and sustainable in fashion while also continuing to ensure that our products, which are made to last, have long lives and never end up as waste," said Stella McCartney in a statement.

"This campaign is about raising the awareness on a circular approach to fashion," she said. "We alongside The ReaReal are making the commitment now and we can only hope that others will follow.”

British department store Harrods similarly worked with streetwear label Vetements to draw attention to the issue of overproduction.

The Zurich-based brand took over four of Harrods’ windows for an installation that showcased how much fashion is wasted. While potentially a counter-intuitive message for a brand and retailer, the project aimed to inspire a more sustainable fashion strategy (see story).