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Farfetch launches online Sustainability Calculator

Sadiyah Ismailjee
18 June 2020

Luxury etailer, Farfetch is launching the Sustainability Calculator, an online tool to help its customers track how apparel they purchase impacts the environment.

The Sustainability Calculator is a fashion footprint tool can show consumers the overall impact of individual materials used in the pieces they’re purchasing and will also highlight the sustainability benefits that pre-owned fashion will offer.

The tool allows customer to find out, for example, that a kilo of linen can produce 15kgs of carbon and use more than 2,000 litres of water. The company is also encouraging shoppers to look out for certain eco certification badges to avoid this impact.

The sustainable tool launch follows a report that Farfetch published in partnership with the London Waste and Recycling Board which explores consumer behaviour in the UK, the US and China.

The report reveals how secondhand pieces can decrease demand for new items by an average of almost 60% and can also reduce waste by a kilo per purchase.

Each pre-owned purchase could save more than 3,000 litres of water and 22 kilos of carbon dioxide.

A survey from the report also found 38% of shoppers saying that more than half of their wardrobe is made up of pre-owned pieces, with figures showing as high as 51% in the US and 42% in the UK, although only 21% of Chinese consumers agreed.

Consumers who were surveyed also said they purchased an average of eight pre-owned items last year.

The majority of consumers (60%) buy in-store, with the highest percentages being in the US and UK. However 40% buy online, and here, with China in the lead with 58% of consumers going online to purchase pre-owned items.

When it comes to second hand pieces, shoppers buy, 49% from high street brands while 35% are premium labels and just 16% are luxury names. The average spend per item is US$59 in America, $88 in China and $47 in the UK.

The luxury e-commerce's research also showed that rarity is a major reason why Chinese shoppers buy secondhand pieces, whereas UK and US shoppers are attracted to affordable pricing.

Although Farfetch's main business model is based on selling new items, the online retailer has also ventured into resale pieces recently. Currently, it operates its SecondLife resale service and also offers a donation service in a link with Thrift+ that where customers can donate pieces to their favourite charities.

The launch of the sustainable new tool follows as the company's consumer base increasingly voices it not only want to in invest brands making a positive impact on the environment yet also want to avoid buying brands that ignore sustainability.

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