Farfetch is a leading global eCommerce platform for brands in the luxury fashion industry, with the Farfetch sustainability strategy looking to match this high standard.
Their mission is to be the global platform for luxury fashion, connecting creators, curators and consumers. Founded in 2007, Farfetch began as an eCommerce marketplace for luxury boutique brands across the globe. Today, they connect customers in over 190 countries with items from over 1,200 of the world’s best brands, boutiques and department stores.
Recently, Farfetch has begun to consider the lasting impact that fashion has on the environment and recognised that fashion comes with a carbon cost. They are now determined to act positively and be part of the solution. As a result, Farfetch has started to implement strategies, as well as put plans in place to become more sustainable.
Farfetch is working closely with its brand and boutique partners, to revolutionise and reinvent the fashion industry for a more sustainable future. So what strategies and plans are they implementing across the day-to-day running of their business?
Farfetch believes that its most significant environmental impact lies within their logistics network. The brand understood that carbon offsetting was the most economically efficient way for them to reduce their environmental impact immediately.
Since April 2020, Farfetch has balanced the carbon footprint of every delivery and return through investments into independently certified and verified environmental projects. Projects include planting and protecting global forests (which absorb tonnes of carbon every year) and switching to renewable energy sources such as wind farms.
“Carbon emissions are the world’s biggest contributor to global warming, and we feel it is our responsibility to minimise our impact as much, and as soon, as possible. As a platform, our largest impact lies within our logistics network and we’re pleased to offer Climate Conscious Delivery to our customers who have already told us they are interested in sustainable delivery options. Our focus is on carbon reductions but, alongside that, offsetting is the most economically efficient way for us to reduce our environmental impact immediately. We believe that we are the first luxury multi-brand marketplace to offset in this way.”Thomas Berry, Director of Sustainable Business, Farfetch
Farfetch also uses algorithms on their platform to prioritise pieces of clothing that come from the store nearest to the customer’s location. This means that consumers are more likely to see and purchase products that are local to them. Not only does this improve customer experience, but it also cuts carbon and costs for Farfetch.
One of the most significant impacts of fast fashion and eCommerce is the increasing number of returns, which contribute to a brand’s carbon footprint. Farfetch is tackling this issue by implementing and exploring new sizing tools and technologies for its customers. One of these, Ftsy, is an app that helps consumers find the right shoe fit when shopping online.
Plastic and non-biodegradable packaging is having a devastating impact on our planet’s wildlife and ecosystems. Farfetch recognised the lasting impact that fast fashion packaging has on the environment and, as a result, made changes to their packaging options.
Farfetch’s packaging and inserts are now fully recyclable and are also Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified too. Instead of plastic, Farfetch uses paper and card packaging, all of which are made and sourced from recycled materials and sustainably managed forests.
Farfetch Sustainability Collaborations
Climate change and global warming are one of the most urgent issues of our time. Farfetch recognised the importance of working alongside the broader fashion industry to try and encourage positive change. As a result, they joined the G7 Fashion Pact and The United Nations Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.
Both of these collaborations focus on accelerating bold targets across three key areas:
- Climate change
- Ocean health
Farfetch is also a part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular Initiative. This initiative brings together leaders from across the fashion industry to collaborate with leading brands, NGOs and startups. This allows Farfetch to share the knowledge they have gained from their circular economy initiatives, and work together to drive change at an industry level.
Only by working together can the fashion industry make a positive impact on climate change, and it’s great to see that Farfetch understood this and made it a part of their sustainability strategy!
Farfetch wants to help its customers make positively conscious choices. Whether it’s understanding which designers are sustainable, streamlining processes, or connecting people to innovations in technology, Farfetch provide clothing that makes conscious decisions easy for their consumers.
Farfetch committed to this by partnering with Good On You. This allows consumers to discover the most conscious fashion brands, and see how their other favourite fashion lines measure up. Farfetch also has a detailed anti-slavery policy in place, as well as an ethical sourcing policy. This commitment ensures that no products made from fur or endangered species are sold on Farfetch’s website.
Farfetch Sustainability: Recommerce
Farfetch has also included recommerce schemes as a part of their sustainability strategies. They want to inspire people to think positively about the value of old clothes, so they’re challenging consumers to rethink their approach to the clothes they buy, as well as what happens to the products after they’ve finished wearing them.
Farfetch has partnered with Thrift+ to offer an innovative on-demand donation service. This allows their consumers to support their charity of choice, give good quality clothes another useful life, and receive Farfetch credits in return. Similarly, Farfetch is piloting their Farfetch Secondlife scheme, which lets customers sell their designer bags, get some credit, and help give their pre-loved pieces a second lease of life.
Farfetch sustainability strategy was further amplified in the recommerce space by the investment in the sneaker consignment business Stadium Goods. With the sneaker business already culturally centred around consumer-to-consumer buying and selling, this acquisition made perfect sense both commercially and as part of the Farfetch sustainability strategy.
Farfetch is also the only online, multi-brand marketplace that already has a vintage pre-owned selection. As Farfetch was built on the premise of selling existing stock in small boutiques around the world, it’s clear that recommerce continues to be their model.
Bringing together fashion and technology creates an incredible opportunity within the sustainability sector. Farfetch is using its platform to positively change fashion and inspire the next generation. Their Dream Assembly accelerator programme allows them to support sustainable startups, many of them with a focus on good social or environmental impact.
Farfetch Sustainability: Fronting the sustainable fashion movement
Due to the gravity of the climate crisis, and the part fashion has to play in it, it’s well known that many brands are turning to sustainable alternatives. Farfetch, despite being one of the foremost online luxury fashion retailers, is using their platform for good and empowering others to do the same.
They’re here to show customers that making the conscious choice doesn’t have to mean compromising on style or comfort, as well as investing in the future, by showing their support for pioneering eco-minded brands. As they continue to improve upon and grow their sustainability strategies, it’s no doubt that Farfetch has become the global eCommerce platform for good in luxury fashion.
For more information on Farfetch’s sustainable strategies, you can visit their website here.
Further Reading: Sustainability at Zalando: Future Focused Retail. Read More