In the first two weeks of a three-month partnership between Yaga and Foschini, 7800 people have participated in its offering and to date the second-hand clothing trading platform has seen a 20% increase in the number of registered sellers.
For every second-hand item of clothing sold on Yaga, the seller receives a voucher from Foschini to buy something new from its stores. The Yaga and Foschini partnership is intended to promote the reuse of garments and to create awareness about conscious consumption, repurposing and fashion waste.
The voucher, the value of which is determined by the sale price, is considered a reward for extending the life cycle of garments. For Yaga this collaboration is about amplifying its messaging on circular fashion – keeping clothing in use and out of landfill for as long as possible. Anette Apri the marketing lead at Yaga says having access to Foschini’s platform, “is a great way to together nudge consumer behaviour and to educate people about the various ways of extending the life cycle of clothing.”
But by offering sellers vouchers to buy new clothes, is this partnership not encouraging the sale of yet more clothes? Consumers might be reducing the number of clothes in their wardrobes but by using their vouchers, more new clothes are being added to the world.
Foschini is not pretending to be a slow fashion retailer. Head of sustainability at The Foschini Group, Nyarai Pfende says that for the retailer, “This isn’t a full circularity story yet – it is part of our work towards that. This partnership is creating awareness about extending the life of a garment and diverting it from landfill. We don’t want clothes ending up in a landfill.”
According to ThredUp’s study on the international resale market, “one in two people are still throwing their preloved clothes in the trash. As a result, 64% of the 30+ billion items produced each year end up in landfill.” While we don’t have South Africa-specific figures, we do know that throwing away wearable and mendable clothes is a waste of finite resources, energy, creates pollution, and occupies increasingly scarce South African landfill space.
Nyarai says that besides raising awareness about extending the life of garments, the partnership is also about encouraging consumers to buy local. She says, “This partnership aligns with our focus on localisation and increasing our environmental efficiency by avoiding the environmental costs of importing.”
With your Yaga x Foschini voucher, there is the opportunity to support Foschini’s “Created by a Woman” series which consists of more than 50% locally-made items and supports over 6 000 jobs. Foschini also supports local beauty. Foschini’s localisation strategy is about on-shoring jobs through local capacity expansion. “We are committed to increasing the share of local production progressively,” says Nyarai.
The Yaga platform makes it easy to launch an e-shop: it offers a payment system and distribution via South African courier companies. The clothes sold on Yaga can be any brand, size or trend. Yaga’s main focus is finding everyone’s preloved clothing a new life. Besides being a consumer-to-consumer platform, Yaga also hosts thrift stores that source from local second-hand traders.
Yaga which was piloted in Estonia in 2017, was launched in South Africa in early 2020. Anette told Twyg that, ”We have over 150,000 registered users and last year our users earned more than R10 million in sales by sending their preloved items to a new life.”
Foschini which has recently adopted the environment as a formal stakeholder is also working with innovative textile start-up, Rewoven to address circular fashion. Nyarai says, “Together, we are exploring a process of using our textile waste as inputs into new items.”