Retailer to partner with Preloved Vintage Wholesale after successful Leeds trial
Asda is to begin selling secondhand clothing in its supermarkets as the vintage trend enters the retail mainstream.
The retailer is partnering with the specialist trader Preloved Vintage Wholesale to sell used clothing in 50 stores, including in Bristol, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Brighton, after a successful trial in its special sustainability outlet in Leeds.
Mel Wilson, the head of sustainable sourcing at Asda’s George clothing and homewares brand, said: “We know that sustainable fashion is something that’s really important to our customers and colleagues. They’re passionate about us encouraging everyone in the UK to think about the issues of waste and how we can make fashion and textiles more circular, so that we really can reduce the number of garments that go into landfill.”
Asda’s foray into the vintage market, thought to be a first for a UK supermarket, is spurred by a rise in interest, particularly among young people, in online trading sites such as Depop, eBay and Vinted.
Asos recently said its reclaimed vintage fashion sales had increased 92%, John Lewis is testing out selling vintage furniture at its Kingston store, and Selfridges has also hosted secondhand concessions. Even this year’s style guide for the Royal Ascot race meeting suggests sourcing outfits from “charity shops, nearly new boutiques, vintage emporiums and resale websites”.
Asda’s US parent company, Walmart, launched an online partnership with the vintage dealer ThredUp last year.
Industry-wide action is also being driven by pledges to improve the sustainability of an industry that has been found to contribute more to climate change than the aeronautical and shipping industries combined.
Steve Lynam, the managing director of Preloved Vintage Kilo, which started out selling secondhand goods priced by weight at events around the country, said its deal with Asda would “help bring Sustainable Fashion to the mainstream”.
He said: “As a business we have saved over 800 tonnes of clothing going to landfill and with the growth of our partnership that is set to increase dramatically.”
Asda’s initiative is part of its George for Good commitment to reduce textile waste, under which it has also launched a take-back scheme in which shoppers can receive a 10% discount voucher for George items if they bring unwanted garments to the store.
The supermarket is a signatory, alongside the likes of Marks & Spencer and Tesco, to the Textiles 2030 action plan which aims to reduce the climate impact of the clothing trade. Commitments include enabling clothing reuse as well as recycling fibres, minimising waste and improving the durability and recyclability of garments.
The voluntary deal follows the sustainable clothing action plan under which the industry aimed to reduce waste to landfill, water use and its carbon footprint by 15% over the eight years to 2020. The initiative has yet to make its final report, but in 2019, signatories had already exceeded the targets on carbon footprint and water use but the industry was falling well short of its landfill target with a reduction of only 4%.
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