By Rebecca Heilweil
Rebecca Minkoff, the co-founder of her eponymous fashion brand, told Cheddar that the fashion industry is increasingly headed toward rental and resale models, signaling democratization of luxury and high-end fashion.
It's also a shift that comes amid increasing pressure on the fashion industry to adopt more sustainable practices.
"I think that it is not even a conversation that's going to have to be had. I think our consumer is demanding it, so we're moving as fast as we can," Minkoff told Cheddar. She added that her own brand is currently working on building more environmentally-sustainable production processes, such as incorporating more vegan leather-based products, using all-recycled packaging, and avoiding plastic hangers.
Lyst, a universal fashion search site, found that there was a 329 percent increase in traffic for resold luxury products and a 66 percent increase in searches for sustainable fashion since last year.
Meanwhile, thredUP, an online thrift store, reports that millennials and Generation Z are moving towards second-hand fashion sales 2.5 times faster than other generations.
"Now that market is growing so big and so fast because people can find luxury second-hand, and they're fine with it. So I think there's going to be even more of a shake-up between rental and resale, and we'll all have to adjust," said Minkoff.
Minkoff added that fashion has become more casual. "It swings to extremes. I think you've seen the casualization," she said. "But I think we can go to work in some really chic sweatpants these days and no one bats an eye. And then you've seen that casualization become luxury again."
Minkoff has also advocated for companies aiming for sustainability to pressure their supply chains and wholesale customers to follow suit.
"I operate that way at home and in my business, so why wouldn't I demand that from my supply chain?" she said. "Even big stores such as Nordstrom are figuring out how they can be more sustainable right now."