- Outerwear brand FW reduces costs by 60% after launching a gold standard repair guarantee for its outdoor clothing.
- FARFETCH, the leading global platform for the luxury fashion industry, delights customers with its Second Life and Donate recommerce platforms.
- New report published today show that both retailers are reaping the rewards of working with ReLondon (formerly known as The London Waste and Recycling Board) and QSA Partners to develop their own bespoke approach to becoming more environmentally sustainable businesses.
- QSA launched a free learning platform today with insights from the project for brands interested in truly embracing both sustainability and profitability
New report released today show that fashion brands and retailers can reap genuine financial, environmental and customer loyalty rewards from embracing circular business models, designed to reduce waste and keep garments and accessories in use for longer.
Luxury fashion platform FARFETCH and outerwear brand FW both worked with ReLondon and QSA Partners over a two-year period to develop, trial and launch their new circular offerings, as part of a project called Circular Fashion Fast Forward. Their journeys, detailed in a new report from ReLondon, demonstrates how properly designed and implemented circular economy business models can outperform traditional linear ‘take, make, use, dispose’ ones. In both cases the retailers saw the new models they embraced positively impact their bottom line and the planet.
At FARFETCH, the company launched two new recommerce models – FARFETCH Second Life and FARFETCH Donate – over the two-year period, embracing circular business models proved to be a hit with FARFETCH customers who indicated a growing appetite for more sustainable products, and the business has seen significant year on year growth in purchases of pre-owned items since 2010. The research FARFETCH did as part of this global project demonstrated purchases of pre-owned products replaced a consumer’s purchase of a new item in around 60% of cases. This is a welcome contribution to the reduction of the 1.7 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions the global fashion industry emits each year.
For FW, who embedded a gold standard repair service in the service offerings of their new brand, embracing circular business models is helping build and strengthen customer loyalty, and has reduced their warranty return costs by 60%, ultimately reducing their environmental impacts as they have not had to make new products to replace warranty claims.
Having experienced experts to advise, guide and review was an important aspect of both retailers’ journeys. Since working with ReLondon and QSA Partners on the Laudes Foundation-funded Circular Fashion Fast Forward project, both retailers have recognised how circularity can help them stand out from the competition, especially during these changing and uncertain times, by truly embracing both sustainability and profitability.
And they are now committed to embedding it in their businesses: FARFETCH is actively seeking to include even more product categories in their recommerce model and have already expanded Second Life to now serve 30 countries.
Tom Berry, Global director of sustainable business at FARFETCH says:
We’re on a mission to become the global platform for good in luxury fashion – empowering everyone to think, act and choose positively, and are committed to long term change that has a positive impact on the future of this industry. We will continue to work with our partners to innovate in this space, and offer a range of solutions to customers that will allow them to make thoughtful purchases.
And FW plans to test out more circular options with their customers in the future. Sara Asmoarp, Head of quality and ESG at FW says:
We know there’s more we can do, and we’re really encouraged by our initial work on repairs. QSA and ReLondon helped us develop a circular business model that fits our brand perfectly ad we will definitely be testing out more circular options with our customers in the future.
These positive outcomes for FARFETECH and FW add to the growing, compelling case for change in the way things are being done in the fashion industry. They show that for the industry to not only survive but thrive it must take note of the environmental necessities, economic advantages and changes in consumer behaviour that form the basis of circular business models.
For the experts at ReLondon and QSA one of the key ways circular approaches can help brands thrive is through strengthening their customer loyalty. Andrea Crump, circular economy strategic advisor at ReLondon says:
Customer demand for sustainability keeps growing; it’s not going anywhere. And what we saw from this project is the need to put customers at the heart of your decisions around circular business models.
Further highlighting how embracing circularity can help strengthen customer loyalty, Kristina Bull, Partner at QSA says:
The main benefits retailers get from implementing circular business models is better relationships with their customers and better understanding of what those customers need, beyond just the initial purchase of a product. We’ve seen consumers becoming more aware of sustainability issues so actually implementing circular business models makes brands way more resilient to the interrogation that consumers are now giving the brands that they buy from.
Notes to editors
For more information, contact Harry Day (firstname.lastname@example.org or 077 3432 9067)
Circular Fashion Fast Forward project
The Circular Fashion Fast Forward project, run by ReLondon in partnership with QSA, is part of the Bridging the Gap initiative, funded by Laudes Foundation, to inspire and activate fashion industry players to accelerate the adoption and implementation of circular business models with net positive outcomes.
Read about the project: https://relondon.gov.uk/resources/fashion-that-doesnt-cost-the-earth
ReLondon, previously known as The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), is a partnership of the Mayor of London and London’s councils to improve waste and resource management and transform the city into a leading low carbon circular economy.
Find out more: https://relondon.gov.uk
QSA Partners are a team of leading circular economy business consultants who use strong commercial, financial and sustainability expertise, alongside practical and experienced project management to develop and implement successful circular business models. We work hands-on with businesses to help them take innovative business propositions to commercial reality and have more than 50 years combined experience in low carbon economics, resource efficient business, innovation and financial modelling.
Laudes Foundation is an independent foundation joining the growing movement to accelerate the transition to a climate-positive and inclusive global economy. Responding to the dual crises of climate breakdown and inequality, Laudes supports brave action that inspires and challenges industry to harness its power for good. Part of the Brenninkmeijer family enterprise, Laudes builds on six generations of entrepreneurship and philanthropy, working collaboratively to both influence finance and capital markets and transform industry with a focus on the built environment and fashion. https://www.laudesfoundation.org/
Bridging the Gap
Bringing together four unique initiatives, Bridging the Gap strives to advance implementation of circular business models that make fashion with safe, non-virgin and renewable materials that are endlessly used and reused. The group consists of Circle Economy, ReLodon in partnership with QSA Partners, Forum for the Future in collaboration with Fashion for Good, and World Resources Institute in partnership with WRAP. Each of these initiatives target different actors across all levels of the apparel value chain to share knowledge, craft guidelines and initiate organisational pilots. To deepen the impact of their work, Bridging the Gap was established by Laudes Foundation as a formal learning group, in which the organisations work through common challenges together and share best practice.
Farfetch Limited is the leading global platform for the luxury fashion industry. Founded in 2007 by José Neves for the love of fashion, and launched in 2008, Farfetch began as an e-commerce marketplace for luxury boutiques around the world. Today the Farfetch Marketplace connects customers in over 190 countries and territories with items from more than 50 countries and over 1,300 of the world’s best brands, boutiques and department stores, delivering a truly unique shopping experience and access to the most extensive selection of luxury on a single platform. Farfetch’s additional businesses include Browns and Stadium Goods, which offer luxury products to consumers, and New Guards Group, a platform for the development of global fashion brands. Farfetch offers its broad range of consumer-facing channels and enterprise level solutions to the luxury industry under its Luxury New Retail initiative. The Luxury New Retail initiative also encompasses Farfetch Platform Solutions, which services enterprise clients with e-commerce and technology capabilities and innovations such as Store of the Future, its connected retail solution.
For more information, please visit www.farfetchinvestors.com
FW: Gear for a Future Wild
Born in the wilds above Lake Annecy, FW designs high-performance apparel with newschool style. Our own experiences dictate our product R&D, each piece developed to improve upon what exists today with the goal of encouraging outdoor living everywhere. Surrounded by the giant mountains and crystal waters of the Alps, we share a commitment to create a sustainable future. The natural world transcends everything we do. It inspires our designs, dreams and drive to experience life at maximum intensity.
 British Fashion Council