Aug 18, 2022
Fast fashion has long been criticized for its negative environmental impact. Now online resale retailer thredUP is launching a campaign with a celebrity influencer espousing the ills of fast fashion, while advertising the type of outfits the online secondhand shop offers.
Stranger Things star Priah Ferguson is curating and promoting a line of outfits for thredUP, alongside the launch of an initiative called the “Fast Fashion Confessional Hotline,” according to Gotham. Shoppers can call the hotline and hear Ms. Ferguson’s take on why fast fashion is bad for the environment.
RetailWire called the hotline and confirmed that callers are connected with a recording of Ms. Ferguson, who offers a few options to hear additional messages that will help shoppers “break off with fast fashion:”
- Option one is targeted toward customers who want Ms. Ferguson to talk them out of a fast fashion splurge;
- Option two features Ms. Ferguson discussing why thrift is better than fast fashion;
- Option three lets customers hear a “bad fast fashion” story from Ms. Ferguson and encourages callers to leave a voicemail sharing their own.
The new initiative does not represent thredUP’s first volley against fast fashion. In fact, it recently launched a campaign targeting not just the business model, but a competing business.
In June, thredUP sent push notifications to customers in San Francisco asking them to pledge not to patronize Shein’s pop-up shop. It also promised those who took part in the boycott 40 percent off plus free shipping on a first purchase from thredUP.
News coming out of thredUP’s most recent earnings call about the health of the company was mixed.
The company announced that it would be laying off 15 percent of its corporate staff and shuttering a processing center due to softening demand, according to Footwear News. Other companies in the fashion vertical have also laid off employees recently.
Despite the reported net loss, thredUP’s earnings call provoked a stock surge on news of an increased number of active buyers and orders, according to The Motley Fool.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Gen-Z consumers see the Fast Fashion Confessional Hotline as authentic or heavy-handed? Is thredUP on point or going too far in its anti-fast fashion activism?
“The reality is that resale retail should be more vocal about why they’re a good choice. They have the claim to sustainability, why not leverage it?”