Pretty Little Thing have recently announced that they will be launching a new app to allow shoppers to resell their clothes. The app has similarities to popular platforms such as Depop and Vinted. Despite PLT’s ownership of the app, the items will not have to be from Pretty Little Thing originally. Grace Carty tells us more.
The launch of the platform, ideally coming in the Spring, will provide a new lens through which to view the clothes giant. By facilitating the re-use of products rather than overconsumption, it allows consumers to see PLT as something other than a fast fashion site. It can be commended that they are encouraging the re-use of products and sustainability, but by launching this platform, one does question their intentions. Is this app just a greenwashing distraction, rather than a solution to the climate crisis that we are faced with?
Alongside developing an eco-friendly aspect to the brand, the app is sure to be economically beneficial for the company. The reselling industry is ever-growing, and, last year, Etsy bought the well-known second hand platform Depop for £1.1bn. With over $650m worth of sales on Depop in 2020, the company will have taken a handsome cut. It is clear why the launch of a similar platform is quite appealing to Pretty Little Thing.
They are attempting to shed the image that they have become known for
It is well recognized that since their establishment in 2012 PLT have encouraged overconsumption of fashion. Rather than providing well made, timeless garments, they roll out hundreds of products a week, fuelling the microtrends advertised on social media. It seems that by launching this app they are attempting to shed the image that they have become known for.
In 2020, The Sunday Times conducted an investigation into the pay of workers in Pretty Little Thing’s factories. It was uncovered that some of the workers were earning as little as £3.50 an hour. As this figure was considerably lower than minimum wage at the time, it amounted to modern slavery. This confirmed that salary is a factor as to why the company are able to sell their items so cheaply.
Also in 2020, the Manchester-based brand advertised clothes on Black Friday for 8p. Of course, the initial shock at such a bargain can be quite nice. However, it is important to remember that this will have encouraged thousands of people to purchase items that they do not need and may only wear once.
From a marketing perspective, the launch of this app is a great move for the company
Moreover, it is clear that if the brand can afford to sell items for 8p they must not have taken any time to make them, and the products must be made from poor materials. So, it is likely that they will not be long lasting and the consumer will be forced to re-purchase, thus sending more non-biodegradable clothes to the tip.
The above are only a few of the scandals that the giant have faced in the past ten years, so it is not surprising that a lot of people do not like the brand and what they are doing.
From a marketing perspective, the launch of this app is a great move for the company. It will allow people to recognize them as something other than a huge contributor to the decline of the planet, by offering a new perspective as a facilitator of sustainable fashion.
Though, in order to make a better step towards a greener future, Pretty Little Thing need to focus on encouraging shoppers to wear their products for longer, by styling them in different ways. This app is just another means for people to seek more clothes that they do not need, not helping the over-consumption crisis that we are faced with.
Following the launch of the platform, it can be presumed that PLT’s clothes production will not decrease. Therefore, they will continue to cause damage. In order to make real change, the brand needs to work on this. Otherwise, those who are educated and aware of the crisis we are facing will just see this as a new venture to greenwash their name, rather than an effort to make any true, substantial difference.
For more content including uni news, reviews, entertainment, lifestyle, features and so much more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page for more articles and information on how to get involved.