Paris-based Vestiaire Collective, a global marketplace enabling people to buy and sell luxury, pre-owned fashion products, announced that it has raised €178M in a fresh round of funding.
This comes on the heels of the company achieving unicorn status after a fundraise backed by Gucci owner Kering. With the latest round, the company is valued at $1.7B (approx €1.44B).
The round saw participation from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Generation Investment Management. Existing investors Bpifrance (Large Venture), Condé Nast, Eurazeo, and funds managed by Fidelity International and Korelya Capital also re-invested in this round.
As part of the investment, Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank Group International and COO of SoftBank Group Corp., will join Vestiaire Collective’s Board of Directors, with Generation Investment Management taking an observer seat.
Marcelo Claure says, “Vestiaire Collective is transforming the timeless luxury fashion industry for the better. The company operates at the intersection of multiple sector trends with growth in luxury retail, the ongoing shift to online, and a focus on sustainability. And it is doing so with a business model that is well-positioned to scale globally.”
The proceeds from this round will provide financial flexibility to Vestiaire Collective and will enable the company to accelerate towards its long-term strategic objectives.
The funds will help the company to educate consumers, brands, and other industry participants to build a more sustainable fashion industry. The company will also improve its proprietary technology and services for its members – both buyers and sellers.
Vestiaire Collective also plans to enter new markets and expand in existing markets while also promoting local transactions featuring lower carbon footprints.
A platform for desirable pre-owned fashion
Vestiaire Collective was founded in 2009 by Alexandre Cognard, Christian Jorge, Fanny Moizant, Henrique Fernandes, Sebastien Fabre, and Sophie Hersan. It is a social commerce platform that enables people to buy and sell luxury, pre-owned fashion products.
The company curates and connects the desirable wardrobes and provides a trusted and sustainable new way of buying and selling pre-loved items. It is focused on transforming the fashion industry for a more sustainable future by promoting the circular fashion movement as an alternative to overproduction and overconsumption – the wasteful practices of the fashion industry.
With an inventory of about 3 million items, Vestiaire Collective is a Certified B Corporation with offices in Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, and a tech hub in Berlin.
Over the past 12 months, the company grew its number of orders by more than 90 per cent globally, 100 per cent in the US – now its largest market, and 150 per cent in Asia.
Vestiaire Collective’s “Brand Approved” service
The global fashion industry produced around 2.1 billion tonnes of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in 2018. Vestiaire Collective offers a key solution to this challenge, facilitating an increase in reuse and reduction of waste.
The company believes that emphasising the importance of durability and extending the lifespan of pieces will help combat the negative environmental impact of over-consumption.
To facilitate this, Vestiaire Collective launched a “Brand Approved” service, that offers a buy-back circular solution for brands, supporting the decoupling of economic profit from the use of natural resources. The new program was launched in collaboration with Kering’s house Alexander McQueen to empower the brand to integrate circularity into its business model.
Aims to become carbon neutral by 2026
The company says that by buying pre-owned goods, the environmental damage caused by fashion production can be reduced by up to 91 per cent. As part of its sustainability strategy, Vestiaire has just completed a full lifecycle assessment and the business is now focused on becoming carbon neutral by 2026.
The company has initiated a carbon emissions reduction roadmap, working to reduce shipping distances through a local-to-local scheme and expansion of their direct shipping. With over 50 per cent of orders now completed through direct shipping, the service has already saved over 1,150 tons of CO2 since its launch.
In addition, the business looks to offer more green shipping options and has launched a new “less is more” packaging that is 100 per cent reduced, recycled, and recyclable.