Vancouver's circular economy gets a boost with arrival of high-end online consignment boutique

Love that Bag etc. markets secondhand handbags designed by Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and other luxury brands

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      Many Vancouverites are used to buying dresses, shoes, and jackets secondhand. It's a way to save money while sprucing up one's wardrobe in Canada's most expensive city.

      But what about designer handbags created by Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Dior, and Gucci?

      For those who want to flaunt their wealth—even if they don't have it—there's a new option in town.

      That's because Love that Bag etc., a Montreal-based luxury consignment brand, is opening an online boutique in our town.

      The company insists that its team will ensure that these products are authenticated and professionally photographed for those in the mood to sell their luxury goods through the ecommerce site. Those who go this route are promised up to 75 percent of the purchase price.

      It's all part of the circular economy, in which goods are reused and, in some cases, repurposed rather than ending up in landfills.

      “Consignors give new life to their luxury goods by reselling them, and someone else gets to cherish and appreciate them,” Love that Bag etc. president Caroline Reny said in a news release. "The best part is that we’re all helping the environment by extending the lifecycle of these fashions.” 

      Unlike Etsy, Amazon, Alibaba, and countless other ecommerce sites, Love that Bag etc. offers at-home pick-ups for vendors who put five or more items up for consignment. Those who prefer to drop off their goods can do so in the company's office in the Seymour Building at 525 Seymour Street.

      The resale market is growing rapidly, according to a 2019 report by thredUP. It forecast that the secondhand market would reach US$64 billlion by 2024, up from US$28 billion in 2019.

      Of the US$64 billion, US$36 billion would come through resales and another US$28 billion through traditional thrift and donation sales.

      The arrival of Love that Bag etc. in Vancouver also occurs in the midst of a growing online market for luxury goods, with companies like Poshmark, Net-a-Porter, and Farfetch gaining ground in recent years.

      One reason is the growing importance of digital platforms in the sale of products. They're being boosted by artificial intelligence, which enables tech giants to recommend products to consumers.

      These online recommendations explain why the retail world is increasingly dominated by surveillance-capitalism giants like Google, Amazon, Alibaba, and Facebook, who harvest consumers' information to improve their bottom lines.

      In January, the New York–based Luxury Institute highlighted seven "unconventional luxury trends" in what it called the Roaring 2020s.

      Topping the list was the growing digitization of this industry, with ecommerce being the centrepiece, following by growing use of artificial intelligence.

      "The creative leaders will no longer rely mostly on pure instinct and judgment to develop unique offerings," the Luxury Institute stated. "They will use rich data and AI to help generate, simulate, and validate their hypotheses to scale great creative ideas that turn into commercial success."