By: Glenn Taylor | Link to article
As part of a broader effort to be carbon-neutral by 2030, American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) is launching its first online branded resale experience in tandem with ThredUp just ahead of Earth Day.
AEO’s new RE/AE resale shop offers secondhand and exclusive vintage American Eagle (AE) clothing available for purchase via a dedicated page on the ThredUp platform.
RE/AE is powered by ThredUp’s Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS) solution, which equips brands to deliver customizable, scalable resale experiences to their customers.
“We are passionate about finding new and exciting ways to connect with our customers and RE/AE’s accessible, digital-first, circular shopping experience provides an opportunity to refresh your closet by shopping pre-loved, iconic styles from a brand that has defined youth culture for decades,” said Jennifer Foyle, president, chief creative officer, American Eagle and Aerie. “Standing behind our commitment to help create a more sustainable future, the partnership with ThredUp innovatively gives new life to clothing and accessories that might otherwise contribute to the throwaway fashion culture we are working to eliminate.”
Resale’s growth among apparel and fashion companies took a major step in 2022. Eighty-eight brands launched dedicated resale programs in 2022, a 244 percent increase from 2021, bringing the total in the space from 36 to 124, according to ThredUp’s 11th annual Resale Report. This isn’t even counting the likes of H&M, Francesca’s and Canada Goose, with the first two being powered by ThredUp and the last of the three anchored by recommerce platform provider Trove.
RE/AE includes AE styles from as early as the 1980s, the company says, in an example of the brand’s focus on “made-to-last quality” apparel. Unique styles range from jeans and dresses to miniskirts, jackets, accessories and more, with the resale program also including all-gender clothing in its offering. All items are priced between $10 and $40, according to the retailer.
“American Eagle is a mainstay brand among younger generations, and its core customer base is actively engaged in apparel resale,” said James Reinhart, CEO of ThredUp. “Eighty-three percent of Gen Z have shopped or are open to shopping secondhand apparel, which is a massive opportunity for the brand. We’re proud to support American Eagle through RaaS as the company innovates to serve its customers and meet sustainability goals.”
With younger consumers clearly driving this resale push, the retailer is catering further to its audience by extending the product lifecycle and offering its community more curated styles to discover via engaging new platforms.
AEO is working with Snapchat to deploy a shoppable AR Lens feature showcasing select styles from the specially curated inaugural 200-piece RE/AE collection.
The RE/AE Snapchat popup allows users to view the collection through an exclusive AR shopping lens, where virtual animations are overlaid on a Snapchat photo. AE pieces will be displayed throughout the space, arranged as a vintage store, for users to explore. They can click on select products for details on the item and learn more about their impact with secondhand sustainability information woven throughout the experience. Each product will link customers directly to ae.thredup.com where they can complete their purchase.
American Eagle and Snapchat have been frequent collaborators since 2020, when the fashion company opened a virtual popup on the platform during the holiday season. The next year, the companies debuted an AE x Snapchat AR Jeans Guide, with the retailer unveiling its first-ever digital clothing line, the Bitmoji Collection, on the social media platform. Both firms then launched three virtual, shoppable experiences for the 2022 holiday season based on themes including an outdoor adventure, a friends getaway and a holiday party.
According to the 45th Semi-Annual Taking Stock With Teens Survey from Piper Sandler, American Eagle is the second-most popular apparel brand among teenagers, with 7 percent of consumers calling it their top brand. Nike is still far and away the No. 1, at 33 percent of the 5,690 teens surveyed.
While RE/AE represents AEO’s first trek into branded resale, it’s not the company’s first rodeo in secondhand sales. In March 2019, American Eagle converted its SoHo Broadway store into a popup with resale sneaker seller Urban Necessities. The collection featured limited-edition pre-worn sneakers from Nike, Adidas and Supreme that cost between $150 and $50,000.
AEO isn’t the only seller teaming with ThredUp to keep more of their product in circulation.
Patricia Nash Designs, a designer leather handbag and accessories brand, also partnered with the online consignment platform to debut its Rediscovered resale program, which allows customers to resell pre-owned items for shopping credit at the brand.
Patricia Nash and American Eagle join more than 40 other brands offering resale programs through RaaS, including J.Crew, Tommy Hilfiger and Madewell.
“We have a well-known base of loyal Patricia Nash customers who love to collect and trade their previously loved handbags,” said Jennifer Vanderink, vice president of operations and general counsel, Patricia Nash Designs. “It was a no-brainer for us to partner with ThredUp and offer our customers a way to extend the lives of their beloved bags even further and also get credit for new products on our site. We are excited to partner with ThredUp to help customers rediscover classic and new Patricia Nash styles.”