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VISIT LIVE! eBay on driving revenues and reducing impact through resale

Tom Shearsmith
02 March 2023

Reporting from LIVE! Resale, rental and repair, eBay spoke about how retailers can partner with the global resale giant to reduce their environmental impact and drive revenues. 

Lucy Peacock, Category Lead of Pre-Loved Fashion at eBay (pictured centre), was joined by Maria Chenoweth, CEO of TRAID (pictured right) and Siobhan Gehin of global strategists Roland Berger (pictured left). The trio covered topics including how best to encourage consumers to shop more responsibly and why there's such a pressing need for substancial change in the industry.

In order to continue driving consumers to sustainably shop pre-loved, eBay partnered again this year with the hit ITV dating programme Love Island. Last series, the online marketplace took over from fast fashion label I Saw It First, becoming the show’s first-ever pre-loved fashion partner.

The partnership alluded to the bigger picture of sustainability, inspiring viewers to shop consciously. Research from ITV revealed one in two (53%) viewers who are aware of the eBay partnership said they’d bought pre-loved in the past three months.

Since its first partnership with the show, eBay UK has seen 1600% more searches for ‘pre-loved clothes’. With the newfound popularity, 24% more new circular fashion businesses joined the online marketplace.

Lucy Peacock, Category Lead of Pre-Loved Fashion at eBay, commented: "There’s been a real change in mindset on how you can unlock garments. And people are now realising that second-hand doesn’t mean second-best. We've seen some incredible data that shows how valuable our partnership with Love Island has been, for example. The Gen-Z demographic are very open to new ideas and, if converted successfully, will continue to stick by you and explore other ideas of circularity and sustainability."

The global platform is known for peer to peer pre-loved sales but wants to partner with more fashion brands to offer a 'second life' channel for brands with clothing that has either been returned or 'traded in' and which is unable to be sold via their new channels. It is offering pilot programmes to get brands up and running with minimal fuss, so they can start to build a scaleable resale channel into their growth strategies.

"eBay is working with brands to provide them an easy platform to sell second hand clothing, and that's probably the key take away for anyone in the industry - we're here to try and help. I think in order to achieve a more sustainable fashion industry overall, different aspects of the industry must work together and discuss how best to work to one goal."

In December 2022, eBay UK and the British Fashion Council (BFC) announced six winners of the newly-established ‘Circular Fashion Innovator’s Fund’, which is aimed at helping grow small businesses, delivering £100,000 in grants.

The fund builds on eBay’s existing support for the circular fashion economy. In 2021 eBay helped save over 17,770 tons of fashion items out of landfills, which is the equivalent of 1,404 double-decker buses.

Each of the six winning businesses, which all provide circular fashion solutions, are receiving mentoring from industry leaders and a £15,000 grant to help their growth.

Roland Berger's Siobhan Gehin revealed that it expected pre-loved clothing to make up around 18% of the average wardrobe by 2031 and that the resale market for fashion would grow by 18% over the next five years.

Maria Chenoweth of TRAID discussed how the charity retailer was focused on offering high quality pre-loved clothing to consumers and warned retailers against partnering with charities and using them as channels to off-load poor quality stock. "We are not a dumping ground!" she said. recently conducted a podcast interview Maria Chenoweth, CEO of TRAID: listen on demand here. 

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