Friday, December 9, 2022

Balenciaga Launches Into Resale With a Reflaunt Exclusive

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Everything in the Balenciaga universe, from hoodies to boots to bags, is now available secondhand via the luxury label’s new Resell partnership with Reflaunt.

Kim Kardashian has been synonymous with Balenciaga in recent years, but could there be a new contender? Resale platform Reflaunt, which raised $11 million in a Series A funding round last month, has scored an exclusive with the Kering luxury label.

The partnership comes after a successful resale pilot. Balenciaga CEO Cédric Charbit is an investor in Reflaunt. The platform is part of LVMH’s accelerator program La Maison des Startups, which supports startups working to innovate in the luxury space.

The number of luxury resale platforms is on the rise—from bag-focused platforms like Fashionphile, to peer-to-peer platforms like Vestiaire Collective, and authenticating services like Watchbox.

Reflaunt authenticates items, photographs them, and prices them for resale on its global network which includes Vestiaire Collective and other secondary markets. It recently partnered with Saks Off 5th, Net-a-Porter, COS, Ganni, and Harvey Nichols, among others.

Balenciaga's FW19 campaign
Balenciaga’s FW19 campaign | Courtesy

“We have integrated the resale experience in the brand ecosystem, which allows us to record the product’s digital ID at the moment of check-out and foster a seamless resell-in-a-click experience when customers are ready to give products a second life,” Stéphanie Crespin, co-founder and CEO of Reflaunt, said in a statement following its Series A funding round last month.

Balenciaga’s sustainability push

Balenciaga is encouraging its customers to buy and sell through Reflaunt. It says the experience is seamless, the payouts are high and turns are faster, and it promotes a circular economy. Dubbed the Resell program, Balenciaga says it’s designed to encourage reducing, reusing, and recycling. Plus, if you’re on the buying side, there are iconic pieces available to shop.

Consumers can earn higher credits when bringing items to stores in Italy, France, the U.K., the U.S., and Singapore, the label said. Services can also be scheduled online.

Balenciaga joins a roster of luxury brands dipping into secondhand; Gucci, Burberry, Valentino, and Ganni, have all embraced secondhand as a means to promote sustainability and circularity. It also offers the brands a chance to recapture value. Balenciaga was in the top ten brands listed in the 2022 report from luxury resale platform The RealReal.

A Sustainable, Socially Responsible Future for the Fashion Industry Is Possible
Courtesy Burberry

According to Balenciaga, this is a step toward becoming “fully sustainable.” The label has lagged behind other luxury brands, including those under the Kering umbrella; Gucci and its Off the Grid and Gucci Vault collections have made it one of the most sustainable luxury brands to date. It’s also driving secondhand sales. A recent report found Gucci was the top-selling luxury secondhand brand on eBay.

Earlier this year, Kering partnered with Adidas and other brands to tackle fashion’s wastewater problem. Fashion is a leading producer of wastewater, accounting for 20 percent of global wastewater every year. It’s also the second largest water-consuming industry, using some 79 billion cubic meters of water every year.

Kering has helmed other sustainable and ethical efforts, including a partnership with Cartier on making the watch and jewelry industries more responsible. Kering brand Alexander McQueen has been incorporating sustainable materials, and recently said it was exploring mushroom leather as an ethical alternative to leather. In May, Kering announced it had been working in secret with Vitrolabs, a cell-based leather startup.

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