As with everything at COS, quality is key to COS Restore. Pre-loved clothing handed in by customers and collected from stores across Europe is sent to a COS distribution centre. From there it is sorted and shipped to Bleckmann’s renewal facility in Almelo, the Netherlands. The Renewal Workshop experts then use a proprietary renewal process to restore each garment to optimal condition, ready to start its new life.
“We were already aware of Bleckmann’s advanced circular fashion capabilities, and we greatly appreciate their attention to detail and the quality of their work – they’re as passionate about clothing and circularity as we are,” explains Parisa Golshekan, Sustainability Business Expert at COS. “COS garments are built with quality and timelessness in mind from the beginning, so it makes sense for us to try and extend their lifespan as much as possible in their original form.”
The Renewal Workshop team at Bleckmann consists of highly skilled clothing renewal experts who work with brands to adopt and expand their circular fashion offerings. “With COS, it’s a true partnership, an incredibly collaborative process,” confirms Tamara Zwart, Director of Renewal at Bleckmann. “Together we work to tailor the process down to the last detail, using more responsible water-free cleaning methods, repairing garments to the highest quality standards and shipping the restored clothing in more sustainable packaging.”
Even though the project is still in the pilot phase, the results so far have been very encouraging. “The response in stores has been excellent, both from shoppers and from COS colleagues,” says Parisa. “Everyone is thrilled with the quality of the restored products and excited to be helping reduce the environmental impact of their wardrobe.” And as more consumers become aware of how their fashion choices impact the environment, pre-loved clothing is swiftly growing in popularity.
Maximising product lifetimes, minimising waste: the power of circular fashion
With increasing demand from consumers for more sustainable alternatives to buying new, more and more retailers are seizing the opportunities offered by resale. According to the thredUP Resale Report 2023, the size of the global second-hand fashion market is set to nearly double by 2027, reaching USD 350 billion. This makes pre-loved clothing a valuable revenue stream, but resale and other circular business models are also key assets when it comes to building brand loyalty.
Recent research by McKinsey has revealed that 40% of European consumers consider sustainability to be “highly important” when deciding between brands, and resale is a key part of the picture: the consultancy predicts a two- to threefold increase in fashion and luxury resale models by 2030. And sustainable pioneers like COS are leading the charge.
COS Restore is only the latest addition to the brand’s programme of forward-thinking sustainability strategies. These include COS Full Circle, the brand’s complimentary garment collection service. Available in 21 European markets, this trade-in programme allows shoppers to bring their pre-loved COS garments into stores – in exchange for a discount voucher. These clothes either go on to be Restored by Bleckmann or repurposed (via COS Repurpose) into recycled fibres, ready to be re-spun into brand-new COS pieces. For any garments that cannot be restored or repurposed, there is an onward recycling programme run by COS partners.
COS also offers a secure, branded peer-to-peer reselling service, COS Resell. On this official marketplace, COS fans can discover a range of pre-loved pieces at discounted prices. “The value of having this wide range of circular options is that we can appeal to a broader variety of circularity-minded consumers,” explains Parisa. “Whether you prefer the speed and convenience of shopping online or you want to interact with products in-store, COS has a circular solution to suit you.”
Building the future of COS Restore with Bleckmann
With a clear appetite for more renewed products among shoppers, the future is bright for this pioneering initiative. “We’re seeing a steady increase in volumes, and we’d love to be able to expand COS Restore to more stores in Europe,” concludes Parisa. “COS is leading the way in bringing a full spectrum of circular initiatives to consumers, with the ultimate vision of connecting all solutions to enable the most convenient sustainable shopping experience.” Bleckmann is proud to be helping them on this journey – inspiring more shoppers to buy pre-loved and ultimately inspiring more sustainable actions across the fashion industry.
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