Resale Can Be Good for Business & Good for the Planet

4 min readMay 12, 2022

Every time we speak to brands and retailers about resale, an important part of their decision-making journey is to create a resale business case for their internal stakeholders. We’ve taken this knowledge and created a 3-part series about the top ways to build this business case. Part 1 is dedicated to sustainability. Follow us on LinkedIn to stay updated for parts 2 (supply chain and business operations) and 3 (marketing and ecommerce).

As the industry moves away from the traditional linear (take-make-waste) model toward a more circular future, resale is quickly catching on. More and more brands every day are launching into resale, as it’s a tangible and engaging way for customers to live and breathe the brand’s sustainability values while participating in the circular economy. Resale is where environmental goals and business goals align.

Why sell a product once when you can sell it two, three, or four times? Why create a product from scratch when you have a perfectly good pre-owned one to resell?

Here are 5 reasons why resale is good for the planet and good for business, too!

  1. Resale keeps products at their highest value for longer.
    Through integrated resale, brands can add a whole new revenue stream while keeping their products in circulation and at their highest value for longer. As it stands, around 85% of textiles tossed in the US each year are either landfilled or incinerated. Resale is one way brands can ensure their products aren’t adding to the problem and are loved as long as possible. By bringing the resale experience in-house, brands have more control over quality and authenticity while also finding a new home for otherwise hard-to-sell inventory (like returns). Through a Recurate-powered resale channel, customers can easily list an item from their order history, with photography pulling directly from the brand’s library. Before going live, listings are reviewed for authenticity, ensuring the brand’s products are always represented in the best way possible and appropriately valued every step of the way.
  2. Resale creates a low-impact way for customers to shop.
    Not everyone wants to shop new, especially when it comes to the younger generations. While millennials and Gen X are comfortable shopping secondhand, the behavior is totally normalized among Gen Z. Shoppers are increasingly aware of climate change and the environmental impact of their everyday purchases. According to The State of Fashion 2021, “More than three in five consumers in a recent McKinsey survey said environmental impact is an important factor in making purchasing decisions.” By offering resale, brands can welcome new environmentally-conscious consumers while also giving current customers options. One of our brand partners, Peak Design, goes as far as offering a “shop pre-owned” button on new products pages, which has served them well and speaks volumes about the quality and durability of their goods.
  3. Resale promotes other planet-positive behaviors.
    Recurate is here to make resale easy for everyone to participate. We believe in branded resale because it creates a seamless experience for customers and fosters this and other planet-positive behaviors. An integrated resale channel allows brands to bring resale transactions that might otherwise happen on third-party apps into their own ecosystem, which helps brands further communicate with customers. This way, brands can encourage buyers to sell, take care of their products, and be more thoughtful consumers in general. It builds community around secondhand shopping and creates a positive ripple effect, inspiring consumers to demand more from the brands they love. Building awareness is critical as we collectively work to better the industry.
  4. Resale creates a more localized revenue stream.
    Adding a revenue stream based on pre-owned products makes for a more robust and resilient product line because you’re adding products that are already made and locally available. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen the challenges that can arise for businesses that rely entirely on a global supply chain. It has been a wake-up call that’s directed everyone’s attention to resale. Recurate offers brands the ability to geofence pre-owned sales to keep their products local. So, for example, pre-owned products listed in the US can only be purchased in the US. That means more efficient transactions and shorter shipping legs, which is better for the environment, too. For brands weighing their options between rental and resale, it’s worth comparing the environmental impact of both models. A recent study found rental to have a higher climate impact due to the added transportation, cleaning, and warehousing.
  5. Resale furthers brand sustainability initiatives.
    Resale is an essential step for brands on their journey toward circularity, but it’s not a band-aid solution. The potential for resale to have a positive impact on our planet and industry is real, and the actual environmental impact is unique to every brand and depends on countless other variables like manufacturing standards and materials to design durability and end-of-life planning. What happens to products when they’re so worn they can’t be resold? Sustainability is a journey, and no one brand has it all figured out. Recurate is proud to work with brands of all shapes and sizes that are making changes for the better, no matter where they are on their journey.

Beyond the planet-positive potential for resale, it’s also a powerful way for brands to drive revenue and build community. For help building your company’s business case, or to learn more about launching a Recurate-powered resale program, visit