Second-hand clothing retailer ThredUP creates logo for second-hand clothing

The second-hand clothing market thredUP Inc. this week introduced a logo to represent second-hand clothing anywhere, not just those on its platform, with the goal of promoting the sustainable aspect of fashion. ‘opportunity.

The logo is a green, hanger-shaped loop with an arrow to suggest continued reuse, similar to the triangle of arrows that forms the traditional recycling symbol. The main version of the logo has the word “Thrifted” written on the hanger to represent the pre-worn clothing, but other iterations just show the hanger. The name thredUP never appears.

While the brand could be the start of an informal second-hand clothing brand and benefit thredUP 11 years in the process, the company says this logo is different from most.

“Logos have this history of signage materialism,” said Karen Clark, vice president of marketing communications at thredUP. “And this logo is sort of the opposite. It signals anti-waste, reuse, sustainability. It’s a new kind of status symbol that shows you care about the environment.

ThredUP is offering the logo in iron-on patches for free with purchases in its markets this week, or on sale for $ 5 apiece. Small businesses and other thrift stores can also get the iron-on patches for free for a limited time to give away to their customers.

Part of the creation of the symbol and making it available as a patch was to give second-hand clothing the sparkle of a brand, said Christian Siriano, a fashion designer who worked with thredUP to design the logo.

“The goal here is to make sure that there is another way for people to fall in love with clothes,” he said.

The value of the used clothing, footwear and accessories retail market in the United States is expected to fall to $ 24.1 billion this year, from $ 27.8 billion in 2019, according to the research firm. GlobalData PLC. Part of the decline is attributed to lower sales at more old-fashioned second-hand stores like Goodwill Industries International Inc., said Neil Saunders, general manager of GlobalData’s retail division. Organizations like Goodwill have seen a drop in foot traffic due to the distancing measures, as well as the demand for clothes to be worn at work or on special occasions, he said.

A distanced Christian Siriano showcasing his collection in Westport, Connecticut, in September. He helped design the new used clothing logo.


Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images for Christian Siriano

But with the vaccines likely to become widely available soon and the pandemic hopefully ending, the second-hand clothing market is expected to resume growth and skyrocket, reaching $ 33.1 billion in 2021 and $ 64.1 billion in value by 2024, according to GlobalData. The sector will benefit as younger consumers mature and increase their spending on clothing, and as retailers become more interested, Saunders said.

Investments and competition are also increasing. In October, thredUP filed for an initial public offering. One of its main competitors, Poshmark Inc., followed suit in September. Depop Ltd., a second-hand clothing resale platform that caters to Generation Z, has so far raised a total of $ 62 million from investors.

ThredUP users can send clothes to the company for inspection and registration on its platform. If someone purchases an item, thredUP pays the seller a percentage of the price, ranging from 3% to 80%, depending on factors such as quality, whether the item is in season, and its selling price. ThredUP also has partnerships with retailers such as Walmart Inc.,

allowing shoppers to purchase thredUP clothing directly from

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While many social movements have symbols to represent them, it is difficult for a business started down by a business to attract mainstream audiences, said Michael Bierut, partner at design firm Pentagram Design Inc.

“When people try to think of movement signs as professional exercise, it’s both difficult to do something that has this level of repeatable simplicity on one side, and once you’ve done it, it’s hard to do something that has that level of repeatable simplicity on the one hand, and once you’ve done it actually quite difficult to make sure it takes off one way or another at a local level, ”Bierut said.

Consumers might not be inclined to wear a symbol that shows their clothes have been spared, said Jess Tran, founder of Ghost Vintage and co-founder of Second Life Marketplace, two stores dedicated to second-hand clothing. Part of the appeal of buying second-hand and vintage clothing is that others don’t necessarily know the clothes are second-hand, Ms. Tran said.

And for those looking to save, it’s unclear whether a logo would make a difference, Ms. Tran added.

“The vintage used groundswell movement is going to continue to grow, and it doesn’t necessarily need a logo to make it more powerful for people,” she said.

Retailers of designer clothing and clothing claim there is no reason not to stop buying and selling second-hand luxury clothing. Consignment company RealReal is taking advantage of the trend. Photo: Lydia Randall / WSJ (Originally posted Aug 15, 2019)

Write to Ann-Marie Alcántara at [email protected]

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Anne G. Cash