The Nature Imperative: How the circular economy tackles biodiversity loss
Published September 2021
thredUP is a managed resale marketplace that makes it easier for people to sell unwanted clothes, meaning garments are kept in use for longer. By facilitating this increase in utilisation rates, the company can reduce the need for extracting virgin natural resources, whilst preventing incineration and landfilling. This ultimately avoids the negative impacts on biodiversity associated with the manufacturing and disposal of garments. Sellers send in their clothes via free postage, and the company sorts, selects, and lists them for sale on its e-commerce platform. The platform inventory includes more than 35,000 brands that are sold at a fraction of their original price. In 2021, thredUP reached a valuation of more than USD 1 billion.
Until now, thredUP has processed 125 million unique secondhand items, avoiding the emission of about 500,000 tonnes of CO2e, saving over 16 billion litres of water,* and reducing other pressures on biodiversity associated with the manufacturing and disposal of garments.
* Assuming that there is 1:1 switching from buying brand new apparel to buying second-hand apparel from thredUP, and that the second-hand clothing sold by thredUP has 70% of its useful life still left.
This topic area explores how the circular economy works for the fashion industry.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. We develop and promote the idea of a circular economy, and work with business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
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OSCR Registration No.: SC043120
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