Last week saw a number of brands announce new repair services, an aspect of the circular economy that sometimes gets undervalued compared to the more exciting world of resale. But in this Weekend Briefing, I take a look at why that shouldn’t be the case. Read on for that, plus a (hopefully final) update on the Yeezy situation and a look at the staggering amount of money Meta has spent on a so-far fruitless push into the multiverse. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Glossy Podcast and the Glossy Beauty Podcast! –Danny Parisi, sr. fashion reporter
Don’t throw away your clothes, fix them
Starting on November 1, Bottega Veneta is effectively giving all of its customers a lifetime warranty, allowing them to get their bags repaired and “refreshed.”
It’s an option that high-end brands have offered for years, although every service is different. As of April of 2021, Chanel only offers a five-year warranty. Louis Vuitton will repair any bag or leather good, but it’s not free — exact prices vary, based on the item and level of repair.
But as the fashion industry becomes more cognizant of its environmental impact, more brands are offering repairs as a cost-effective way to extend the life of garments. There’s tons of interest in the industry: Major brands like Patagonia and Arc’teryx have opened repair centers, and repair-focused startups like The Restory have raised millions of dollars in funding.
Even fast fashion brands have started to offer repairs. Zara announced the launch of a new repair service last Friday and Uniqlo opened a repair center in New York in January.
In my discussions with both fashion brands and people in the environmental activism space, my takeaway is that, while making new things out of better, more sustainable materials is fine, making fewer things is better for the planet in the long run. We still have a long way to go to undo decades of massive overproduction, but offering more repairs and extending the life of clothing is a step in the right direction.
Kanye West’s further implosion
I covered the evaporation of West’s fashion business in-depth on Glossy last week, including with stories on all of his allies dropping him and the future of Yeezy. I also led a segment on the Week in Review podcast about the future of his brands. But just when I thought I could be done covering Kanye for a while, he again made news. Apparently, he showed up unannounced at Skechers HQ looking to collaborate and had to be escorted out. In addition, a CNN article revealed that he has expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and even wanted to name his 2018 album “Hitler.” I sincerely hope this is the last update on this saga for at least a few weeks.
Zuckerberg spent $15 billion on metaverse development
I’m on the record as a metaverse skeptic. I’ve written about why, despite the zealous advocacy of many in the fashion industry and elsewhere, we’ve yet to see a metaverse that looks better than a Playstation 2 game or offers any kind of tangible value. I know there are people reading this who will disagree with me, but I’ve always seen it as a waste of time.
Now, it turns out it’s also a massive waste of money. Meta’s earnings report on Wednesday revealed that the company spent $15 billion on developing Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse, $5 billion more than originally promised, with little so far to show for it. Losses in the Reality Labs division of Meta jumped 31% and the company’s overall revenue was down 4%. Investors were not happy. In fact, an open letter from one of Meta’s largest backers explicitly called for Zuckerberg and Meta leadership to curb the rampant spending, which Meta said would likely increase next year.
Still, it’s undeniable that brands in the fashion industry are looking for ways to make the metaverse work for them. For those interested, we created a Glossy Guide to the Metaverse that runs through every possible question you could have about the subject. Just don’t ask us how Meta spent $15 billion on avatars that didn’t even have legs.