One of fashion’s most popular sources of statement looks, iconic pieces and perfectly imperfect preloved wardrobe staples, Vestiaire Collective is continuing to push the boundaries with the aim of increasing awareness about the importance of shopping sustainably and consciously.
Vestiaire Collective has always had strong sustainability credentials, and they have recently decided to reinforce them with a new campaign entitled ‘Long Life Fashion’.
“Our new brand philosophy of ‘Long Live Fashion’ enables us to celebrate fashion, but it also showcases our desire to help transform our industry for a more sustainable future. This rebranding aims to reinforce our community and share our values with the wider population of fashion lovers,” explains Vanessa Masliah, the outlets’ vice president of global marketing and branding.
“We felt that it was important to do so in a way that puts an end to the industry taking itself (overly) seriously, with an innovative, disruptive, creative approach to raise awareness of our mission. Our goal is to engage with our global community and collectively make a positive impact.”
The “innovative, disruptive, creative approach” ended up being a unique group of newly created virtual influencers called The Collective – they’re basically three-dimensional representations of traditional ‘marketing personas’ that have similar goals and personal profiles. The Collective version, however, has a rather textural vibe being that they are human-sized puppets.
“Long Live Fashion is a positive rallying cry for those who both love fashion and those who want to see it transformed into a more sustainable future. In short, we want to get people to love their (pre-loved) fashion more and take better care of it so that it can live forever,” says Vanessa.
“Our community is central to our brand, and to what makes us unique. Not only do we have a highly desirable global catalogue on the platform, but also you can really trust the people you’re buying from or selling to. Our members constitute a collective of people who love, share and enjoy sustainable fashion, and we wanted to more clearly reflect this part of our identity.
“Yes, [The Collective] are quite unique – the whole concept really came from the core of our brand vision, mission and values. We were looking for a unique and entertaining way to bring to life the attitudes and behaviours of our community and their passion for pre-loved clothes. The puppets are our spokespeople, so making them from pre-loved clothing just seemed like the best way to literally bring to life our brand values. They are our vintage way to do NFTs.”
My favourite fashion item I found on Vestiaire Collective is a pair of Margiela boots that I was so thrilled to hunt down. I love them because they match with a lot of styles! It was my first purchase on the platform and I was impressed by the quality of the experience and I loved the fact that I could chat with the seller. It was super reassuring.Vanessa Masliah
As for people likening The Collective to famous puppet ancestors The Muppets, Vanessa laughs: “Puppets are both entertaining and captivating which allows them to be an effective and popular method of advertising for different brands and businesses. This gave us the opportunity to create an inventive and unique set of characters and accompanying world based on their image.”
The puppets were created from pre-loved clothing and fabrics by a specialist puppet making studio in London and took around eight weeks to make, says Vanessa: “We were looking for a unique and entertaining way to bring to life the attitudes and behaviours of our community. The five puppets embody all the reasons why people can and should buy and sell on Vestiaire Collective.”
When talking about sustainable fashion, ethical fashion and conscious shopping, there are a lot of terms, soundbites and concepts that can be a bit confusing for those who aren’t in the know. One of Vestiaire Collective’s latest tags, “recalibrating for a more conscious future” is one of them.
“There is a real need to transition our way of consuming [fashion] towards circular practices, we can not maintain our previous ways of consuming and discarding fashion. People wear only 20%-30% of the items in their wardrobe. This overconsumption has a direct effect on the planet, creating waste that ends up in landfills,” explains Vanessa.
“Vestiaire Collective has encouraged consumers since the start to consider resale as a smart and sustainable approach to fashion and reflects our commitment to be a ‘Business for Good’, ensuring that we prioritise people and the planet alongside profit. Secondhand is the best way to enjoy the fashion you love in a more sustainable way, it’s all round [more] beneficial for the community, the planet and celebrates personal style.”
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