Shopping second-hand on Vinted is a better choice for the climate than buying new, according to a report by Vaayu

On average, shopping for second-hand fashion on Vinted instead of buying new avoided 1.8 kgCO2e per item.
Jun 4
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Vilnius, 21 March 2023 - Vinted, the leading C2C marketplace in Europe for second-hand fashion, has released the results of its first Climate Change Impact Report, a comprehensive and independent analysis conducted by climate tech start up Vaayu of the climate impact of shopping second-hand on Vinted compared to buying new. 

According to the Report, which was conducted through 2021 and 2022, buying second-hand fashion on Vinted instead of new demonstrated an average emissions saving of 1.8 kgCOe per item. This means that the net carbon emissions avoided by the Vinted Marketplace in 2021 were 453 kilotonnes CO₂e, the equivalent emissions to flying between London and Los Angeles and back approximately 275k times1. This shows that buying second-hand fashion on Vinted marketplace can be less damaging to the climate than buying new items. 

For this Report, Vaayu used a Consequential Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach to analyse half a billion transactions, along with insights on shopping behaviours from a sample of 350,000 Vinted members; this forms the largest-ever primary dataset on second-hand online shopping at scale. The Report assessed: the cradle-to-consumer2 carbon emissions of products sold on Vinted; how often Vinted members avoided the purchase of a new product when buying second-hand on Vinted; and the carbon emissions generated by deliveries, packaging and Vinted operations. 

Making second-hand the first choice 

Importantly, the Report provides an update on Vinted’s mission, finding that second-hand has become the first choice for a fifth of buyers and indicating embedded behaviour in favour of second-hand: 

● While almost half of buyers (47%) use Vinted due to affordability, 20% said they are motivated by environmental and social concerns, highlighting that members increasingly value the impact of a purchase3

● Additionally, 20% of buyers would still have chosen to buy a second-hand item, even if the equivalent item was almost the same price, new4.

Thomas Plantenga, CEO of Vinted, said: 

“Fashion is responsible for significant damage to the environment,5 so our mission is grounded in the conviction that resale is one of the solutions to tackle this harm. For us as a C2C marketplace, right now that means two things. Firstly, encouraging our members to buy second-hand instead of new, so that the emissions from producing that new item aren’t created in the first place. And secondly, helping people see and release the value in the items they own. With this extensive analysis, we are happy to be able to evidence that buying second-hand items on Vinted is a better choice for the climate than buying new. And we will use learnings from this analysis to ultimately help Vinted and our members change fashion consumption habits and continue reducing the negative impact of fashion on the climate into the future.” 

More than 1 in 3 transactions prevented the purchase of a new item 

To calculate avoided emissions, Vaayu assessed the Replacement Rate of items bought on Vinted; i.e. the proportion of items which would have otherwise been bought new, if not bought on Vinted. At least 39% of transactions made on Vinted ‘replaced’ a new item, resulting in an average net saving of 1.8kg CO2e for second-hand items bought on Vinted. 

Vinted members pick PUDO 

While deliveries represent the highest proportion of Vinted’s operational emissions (96%), the Report indicated that its PUDO-first approach to shipping and a savvy membership base contributed to lower carbon emissions from deliveries: 

● Almost three quarters (73%) of transactions conducted on Vinted were delivered to a Pick-Up and Drop-Off Point, which reduces emissions by 62%, compared to Home Delivery. 

● 62% of sellers reused packaging designed for single use, which equated to 70% lower emissions than would have been generated by using new packaging, as well as lower waste. 

Through the launch of its dedicated shipping business, Vinted Go, last year, Vinted plans to continue popularising PUDO to help to reduce the climate impact of shipping among its membership base. Vinted Go's aim is to have more than 2,000 lockers operational in France by the end of the year. 

Marianne Gybels, Senior Director of Sustainability at Vinted, said: 

“The findings of this Report show our members can be proud of their actions, and we can be proud that the Vinted marketplace had significant net carbon saving compared to new in 2021, even accounting for factors like excess purchases. We also see lots of areas for improvement, which we will be focusing on in our forthcoming climate strategy. In the meantime, we'll be encouraging our members to continue choosing the kinds of behaviours that reflect the value of clothing, and help keep them in circulation for longer.”

Namrata Sandhu CEO & Co-founder Vaayu, said: 

“We’re currently at a crucial inflection point. The fashion sector is projected to generate 2.1 billion metric tons of carbon emissions in 2030, and while the urgent threat to our planet can be reduced via circular business models like recommerce, we must first understand their impact. We’re proud to partner with a pioneering business like Vinted, providing robust and accurate carbon data using Vaayu’s world-first proprietary AI technology and best-practice LCA methodology to help inform its strategy and scale circularity. And by compiling the largest-ever primary dataset on second-hand online shopping at scale, we’re able to develop a deeper understanding of recommerce’s emissions saving potential.” 

1 Equivalent to flying 274,545.5 times from London (UK) to Los Angeles (USA). The Guardian

2Includes all phases of the product from production to distribution 

3 See Notes About the Report for survey results

4 See Notes About the Report for survey results

5 UN Environment Programme

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