May 6, 2021
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The RealReal unveils upcycled line in collaboration with top designers

May 6, 2021

Bringing together second-hand and upcycling: that's the objective of the new ReCollection project, launched by resale platform The RealReal. The luxury-focused American site has asked houses and designers to create new fashion products using unsold or defective pieces from their dead stock. Eight labels have responded to the call: A-Cold-Wall, Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten, Jacquemus, Simone Rocha, Stella McCartney, Ulla Johnson, and Zero + Maria Cornejo. 

An upcycled Dries Van Noten jacket - The RealReal

These partners donated articles which were then transformed by Los Angeles-based upcycling specialist Atelier & Repairs, which also used unfinished quilts to enhance the pieces. The line's first collection, which will be followed by further launches throughout the year, is made up of 54 unique men's and women's ready-to-wear pieces and accessories, revealed on the The RealReal website in April. Prices range from $195 to $2,450, with part of the profits being donated to non-profit One Tree Planted. 

"To have such a dynamic group of luxury brands join us for our first collection sends an incredibly powerful message about the importance of circularity and the opportunity we all have to support a more sustainable future for fashion," said Julie Wainwright, founder of The RealReal, which currently boasts some 20 million members. This isn't the first time that the platform has collaborated directly with brands. Over the last two years, the site has teamed up with Gucci and Burberry for initiatives encouraging the resale of pieces made by these houses from one fan to another.

The sweatshirt donated by Balenciaga and subsequently upcycled by Atelier & Repairs - The RealReal

The Californian company, which also operates a small network of brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S., generated revenues of $298.3 million in 2020, representing a decline of 6% compared to the previous year. Looking more closely, revenues from the platform's direct channel rose 4% to $52.6 million, partially offsetting a decrease of 8% in consignment and service revenue, which totaled $245.6 million. 

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