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Pangaia's digital passports make reselling clothing as easy as scanning a QR code

Resale has taken flight in the fashion industry, from consumers selling on peer-to-peer platforms to labels opening dedicated secondhand stores. Joining the fray with an innovative twist is sustainability-minded Pangaia. With its new Pangaia ReWear program, the brand aims to make it easier than ever for customers to resell the items they no longer wear. 

A few years ago, Pangaia started adding QR codes to every garment's care label. Now, users can scan those codes to prefill the details of whatever they want to sell on Pangaia ReWear. (If a product doesn't have a QR code, they can fill in the details manually.) The system then recommends a price based on the item's condition and original value, but users can also select to set their own price within a given range. Currently, most listed items are offered at 50% of the original retail price.

Once a buyer receives their purchase, sellers can choose to be paid in cash, in which case they'll receive 70% of the resale price, or in Pangaia credit to receive 100% to be used toward their next purchase. Pangaia ReWear is powered by Archive, which facilitates fashion resale for brands from The North Face to Oscar De La Renta, and by EON, which created the digital passports that Pangaia's garment QR codes are linked to. In addition to simplifying the listing process, EON's Digital IDs also verify the authenticity of a product.

Pangaia ReWear, which is the first digital passport-enabled resale platform, is launching in the UK, with rollout to other countries in the works.

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By using EON's Digital IDs and Archive's user-friendly platform, Pangaia removes pretty much every element of friction from the resale process. In addition to reducing fashion's impact on the planet by extending an item's life, resale allows different groups of people to buy higher-end clothing at different price points.

However, while both consumers and brands are embracing secondhand, it's still unclear whether the increase in resales is leading to a decrease in the massive amount of clothing produced yearly. As long as business models rely on seducing customers to continuously buy new items, reselling won't make much of a dent, especially if clothes are of insufficient quality to guarantee longevity.

Pangaia ReWear tackles that issue from two angles. First of all, the brand's pieces are made to last — think slow fashion, not fast fashion. Secondly, Archive's mission is for resale to become a significant portion of every participating brand's revenue. Instead of merely functioning as a symbol of sustainability, turning recommerce into a viable income stream could eventually prompt brands to manufacture less. It's an opportunity that isn't limited to the fashion industry. How could your company incorporate reselling as an integral contributor to its bottom line, and as a way to truly push the needle on reducing environmental harm? 

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Liesbeth den Toom