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Partnering with thredUP, Madewell opens its first secondhand store

Combining the feel-good factor of thrifting with the ease of shopping in a single-brand store, fashion brand Madewell has partnered with resale platform thredUP to create a secondhand Madewell boutique. 

Located in Brooklyn, A Circular Store opened yesterday and sells a range of used Madewell apparel sourced from thredUP at prices ranging from USD 10–40. Customers can have clothes tailored and mended, and pick up a thredUP Clean Out Kit to sell their own clothing.

A Circular Store will run through the end of October, after which the brands will evaluate and decide whether to scale efforts.

Secondhand sales by fashion brands have been around for a while — Filippa K opened a secondhand store back in 2008, and Eileen Fisher started reselling its pieces a year later. But the market has matured. Demand is growing as consumers embrace thrifting while on the supply end, platforms like thredUP are turbocharging resale logistics.

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thredUP, Depop, Vinted and other resale platforms have made thrifting transactions nearly frictionless, but those online purchases can still disappoint once delivered — not quite the fit, fabric or color a buyer expected. If a garment ends up unworn in someone else's closet, or is resold and reshipped to yet another buyer, sustainability gains quickly become losses.

Presenting those items IRL, on the other hand, allows for fitting and handling. And while some consumers have a sixth sense for unearthing gems in traditional thrift stores, a much larger group will prefer shopping specifically for brands they know and love, with preloved apparel preselected and organized neatly. Time for every brand to set up a dedicated resale section alongside racks of new clothing?