Fast fashion brand, Pretty Little Thing, has launched a marketplace app enabling users to buy and sell second-hand clothing. The PLT marketplace joins an already crowded market, including fashion-specific brands like Depop and Vinted, along with traditional online marketplaces like eBay, which are rapidly rediscovering their love for pre-loved items.
eBay and PLT are clearly targeting a similar audience, with both brands investing heavily in promotions linked to the reality TV series Love Island. eBay sponsored the last reality show series, providing contestants with pre-loved fashions, and recently announced a collaboration with the Islander Tasha Ghouri. Meanwhile, PLT has just announced a six-figure deal with Tasha’s fellow Islander, Indiyah Polack, to represent the fashion retailer as a brand ambassador.
With so much attention and money being focused on pre-loved fashions, the industry has obviously spotted a trend, and PLT is keen to jump on the bandwagon.
Speaking to journalists at the HuffPost, a spokesperson for PLT said, “We are all about making fashion more diverse and inclusive, giving our customers the creative freedom to express themselves. With the PLT Marketplace App, it is now even easier to join our ‘PLTLoved’ movement as we all play our part in reducing waste.”
Despite PLT’s “commitment” to reduce waste, its motives have been questioned by some sustainability campaigners, with some outwardly accusing the retailer of “greenwashing.” Some commentators have even suggested that PLT’s products are not ideally suited for the resale market.
Former Love Island contestant, model, and sustainable fashion editor, Brett Staniland, told journalists, “Their products are trend-led and ultra-fast, meaning they’re specifically not designed to be resold or have any longevity whatsoever, so resale is never on the cards for those items.”
Does eBay Provide a More Sustainable Choice?
Sustainable shopping is an experience that has been ingrained in eBay’s business model since the marketplace was first launched in 1995. While the marketplace evolved into a sales environment perfectly suited to new and used products, more recently, it has doubled down on its efforts to position itself as an ethical, sustainable choice. As well as its collaborations with Love Island, the marketplace recently announced a partnership with MTV to re-launch the motors makeover show Pimp My Ride, promoting the sale of second-hand car spares and accessories.
Initiatives like eBay’s Authenticity service for handbags, watches, and sneakers are designed to attract buyers and sellers of pre-loved high-quality, premium brands to the marketplace.
Highlighting their commitment to sustainable commerce, a statement on eBay’s corporate site says, “Every day, we help extend the life of products through the resale of refurbished products and pre-owned items on our marketplace. By keeping products in circulation longer, we contribute to a more robust economy that’s essential for the sustainability of our planet.”