Stella McCartney and The Real Real Team to Encourage Luxury Consignment

John Shearer/Getty Images

The designer has long been an advocate of sustainable fashion.

Stella McCartney is embracing the luxury consignment sector.

The designer — a longtime outspoken advocate for protecting the environment and animal rights by promoting sustainable fashion practices — has forged a strategic partnership with San Francisco-based digital ecommerce consignment shop The Real Real to promote secondhand use. Information regarding consigning will be available to shoppers at McCartney's boutiques worldwide, and panels will be held at both brands' stores where experts will explain the circular economy to customers. Additionally, a Stella McCartney pop-up store will open at The Real Real's concept space in SoHo this November.

Julie Wainwright, CEO and founder of The Real Real, told WWD that of the more than 80 billion pieces of clothing that are produced worldwide each year, 75 percent ending up in landfills. “We’re using up the planet’s resources at a rate that’s truly unsustainable,” she told the trade, which first broke the news of the partnership. 

The message is a familiar one to McCartney, who shot her fall 2017 campaign in a landfill in Scotland to draw attention to the issue of waste.

“We believe that consignment and re-commerce can play a significant part in reducing the amount of raw materials that are required each year from our planet," said McCartney. "This is key in our commitment to becoming part of a more circular economy. By ensuring that our products are used for the entirety of their life cycle, it’s possible to begin to slow down the amount of natural resources being cultivated and extracted from the planet for the sake of fashion.”

The Real Real has deemed the first Monday in October as National Consignment Day (which this year happens to align with McCartney's spring 2018 show in Paris) and is promoting secondhand use with the hashtag, #NeverThrowAway.

The digital luxury consignment sphere has been growing at a rapid clip recently, with sites like Vestiaire Collective as well as The Real Real providing vetting services to ensure customers and buyers alike are getting the real deal. ThredUp, a company which was launched as an ecommerce site for the secondhand sale of more mid-tier contemporary brands, launched its own luxury platform, ThredUp Luxe in September, which is expected to make more than $10 million by the end of this year.