loading
drag

Luxury secondhand marketplace AirRobe is fuelling the re-commerce revolution

WORDS BY JASMINE WALLIS

Behold, a digital circular wardrobe.

For many of us, spending the majority of the year in lockdown has meant a lot of spare hours to tick things off the ‘I’ll do it when I have time list’. Every windowsill has been wiped and every cupboard cleared. Perhaps you even have a pile of clothes in the corner of the room ready and waiting to go to another home. 

While we know we should be repurposing our unwanted clothes, sometimes the process of listing and figuring out which platform to use can be overwhelming. Meanwhile, the pile of clothes threatens to take over our floorboards. 

Hannon Comazzetto, the founder of AirRobe, an online fashion marketplace, recognised this issue and came up with not just another eBay-style listing platform but a revolutionary e-commerce (or re-commerce) site that stimulates the circular economy. 

“I became quite interested in the huge waste problems that the fashion industry is facing and in particular, I saw a gap in the market for ways that help fashion brands to really be a part of the solution,” Hannon says. 

With the number of garments produced annually doubling since the year 2000 and 92 million tonnes of textile waste created each year, Hannon launched AirRobe as the go-to place for luxury second-hand fashion, involving both consumers and sellers. 

“We were talking to both sides and just trying to connect the dots and understand how we can deliver a solution that enables everyone to be more sustainable and part of the circular economy.” 

While AirRobe has become the online destination for second-hand luxury pieces since its launch a year ago, the team is now creating a new way to not just shop a pre-loved piece but to continue its life cycle once you’re done with it.

When you buy an item on AirRobe, the piece gets sent out to you and then added into your Circular Wardrobe, a virtual space that remembers each garment you buy. The ‘technology first’ platform remembers the image of the item, the price, and the product details so if you want to rent out your luxury dress or sell it onto a new home, the details are already waiting in the back-end for you, ready for a new life in just one click. 

“For the consumer, it’s incredibly seamless compared to the other solutions where you actually have to go through the motions from scratch. With this, it’s a one-click solution for the consumer. The real beauty behind it is it enables both retail brands and consumers to really work together to be part of the circular economy.”

The platform is harnessing the power of technology to not just think about the second or third ‘life’ of your garment, but where it ends up, including how to recycle it properly based on the material.

“When you’re listing something you might not remember the retail price you paid or the garment tag is faded so you don’t know what the material is. Because we catch all that information, we can then harness it,” Hannon says.  

“So we don’t only do resale – because we understand the material of the item, we can effectively work out where it should be recycled.” 

This technology means that AirRobe is not just an easy-to-use second-hand marketplace but also thinks about the whole life cycle of a garment right down to partnering with recycling plants to ensure items get to the right places.

The close work between both fashion merchants and consumers means that AirRobe is finding solutions to both sides of the industry to create a more sustainable future. 

“We really want to give the fashion industry a solution for being more sustainable and one that is seamless and makes sense from a financial perspective,” Hannon says. 

“I think the flow-on effect will be extremely powerful because then suppliers are incentivised to create longer-lasting, durable pieces and it really perpetuates a sustainable fashion industry that’s good for the consumer, good for business and is really good for the earth as well.” 

AirRobe’s Circular Wardrobe is getting its first taste of working closely with fashion retailers as its partnering with the Fashion Advocate, a sustainable and ethical fashion marketplace and community started by Claire Goldsworthy. 

When you shop from the Fashion Advocate, anything you buy from its site will automatically be put into your AirRobe Circular Wardrobe for you to re-sell, rent or recycle in the future. 

While as consumers we know that sustainability is important, Hannon hopes that boosting the luxury re-sale sector will prove to brands and businesses that the future is circular and financially viable.

“In the fashion industry, there are so many statistics that are quite negative and it needs to change. I think the circular economy presents an opportunity where fashion brands have a business case to build towards a more sustainable future.”

With the early investors of Afterpay backing AirRobe in its latest round of funding, it looks like the future isn’t just making resale easier but is engaging all facets of the industry to join the much-needed circular fashion economy. 

airrobe.com

Lazy Loading