Resale is the future of fashion, as a flurry of buyback programs are proving. Following Urban Outfitter’s foray into online thrifting, luxury retailer Fwrd has announced the launch of Fwrd Buyback, its own resale program dedicated to extending the life cycle of high-end handbags. Customers will be able to shop the platform for pre-loved purses while also having the option to exchange past Fwrd purchases (in excellent condition) for credit to shop on both Fwrd and its sister site Revolve.
“With Fwrd Buyback, we are expanding the Fwrd segment of our business as a destination for the best in established and emerging luxury brands from start to finish,” said Michael Mente, co-CEO and co-founder of Revolve Group, in a press release. “We believe in celebrating great design, and cultivating a more circular relationship between brands and customers. With this, we are combining our capabilities of authentication and service to offer an extensive assortment of exciting products at incredible value.”
What’s to come — A wide range of coveted brands will be available through Fwrd Buyback, including highlights chosen by and from the own closet of creative director Kendall Jenner. With pre-loved offerings from Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Chloe, Givenchy, and more, Fwrd hopes to cement itself as a one-stop destination for customers to partake in circular fashion.
Still, the platform has strict requirements for people to exchange their handbags for site credit. Qualified purses must have been bought on Fwrd for full price no more than one year from their exchange date — meaning models listed on Fwrd Buyback will be modern, not vintage. Customers may trade their products for credit via their personal Fwrd account.
Once the exchange is authenticated and accepted, a 50-percent credit of the original purchase price will be issued to the customer. Handbags accepted to Fwrd Buyback are then re-introduced to the Fwrd community at prices marked between 25 percent to 50 percent below their retail price.
Worth it? — Platforms including Grailed and The Real Real have long promoted luxury resale, although Fwrd Buyback promises “a new era of luxury shopping.” Its strict requirements for eligible products ensures its offerings are always fresh — but subsequently encourages consumers to trade out their handbags less than a year after their initial purchase, feeding into fashion’s overconsumption problem. At least one person’s trash can be another’s tote.