On Monday, Fabletics joined the growing list of fashion brands that are bringing resale in-house
The program, launched in partnership with ThredUp, allows Fabletics customers to mail pre-owned clothing to the brand and receive store credit for any item deemed resellable. Customers can package Fabletics clothes and non-Fabletics clothes together, all of which will either be resold through ThredUp or recycled.
Fabletic’s resale will be available in-store and online. The company started as an online-only business in 2015 and still does a majority of its sales online. Customers can request a kit from Fabletics online or pick up the clean out kits from Fabletics’ stores. Customers fill the kit with clothes they want to sell and ThredUp will assess the contents.
Notably, customers selling clothes to ThredUp, whether they’re selling Fabletics clothes or not, can choose to receive a payout in Fabletics store credit, which will be 15% more than a cash payout. Bhatia said the idea is to use ThredUp’s channel as a means of getting new customers interested in Fabletics after they sell through ThredUp. Resale acting as a customer acquisition tool for fashion brands is a pitch that resale companies have been making for years, and this provides a clear example of how that could work.
Fabletics’ tiered VIP membership model, where customers pay $49 a month for discounted prices, does not factor into resale, Bhatia said. Any customer, regardless of VIP status, can ship pre-owned items to Fabletics under this program and earn credit. VIP members can accrue points on resale purchases just like they do on retail purchases.
Bhatia said there were two motivators for getting into resale. First, ThredUp approached Fabletics with data showing that activewear — and Fabletics’ apparel, in particular — was selling well on the platform. (Neither Fabletics nor ThredUp had exact numbers to disclose.) Overall, demand for activewear has grown in the last year, with brands including Lululemon and Underarmour seeing more than 50% year-over-year growth in sales from 2019 to 2020. Fabletics passed $500 million in revenue a year, as of March.
The second goal was sustainability. “We’ve been thinking a lot about how we reduce our overall footprint on the environment,” Bhatia said. “Resale, for us, is not really about revenue. It’s about boosting our circularity and reducing our impact on the environment.”
Bhatia said she doesn’t yet have projections on the number of pieces the company expects to take in and sell through the program, but she expects it to be in the thousands of pieces per month.
ThredUp is intent on making its resale-as-a-service offering to brands a bigger part of its business, according to Pooja Sethi, svp and general manager of ThredUp’s resale-as-a-service business. Fabletics is the second brand in two weeks to launch with ThredUp, with Madewell‘s partnership debuting on July 20. Sethi said ThredUp hopes to onboard more brands throughout the year.
“According to ThredUp’s 2021 Resale Report, one in three retail executives say resale is becoming table stakes for retailers,” Sethi said. “We’re excited to help retailers create customized experiences for their customers while ushering in a more sustainable future for fashion.”