What’s old is new again at Madewell – with help from ThredUp

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Madewell and ThredUp Inc. are jointly launching "Madewell Forever" — Madewell's new resale platform. 

The platform runs on the ThredUp Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS) technology and logistics platform that supports circular fashion experiences. This collaboration deepens Madewell's existing partnership with ThredUp, which offers a curated selection of ThredUp pre-owned jeans in select Madewell stores. ThredUp has partnered with a number of other retailers in recent years, including Walmart, J.C. Penney, and Abercrombie & Fitch.

As a result, Madewell is becoming ThredUp’s first RaaS client to launch a 360-resale platform that allows customers to both sell and shop secondhand items. Madewell worked closely with ThredUp to develop a unique, white-labeled resale channel including a digital shop, which is the first of its kind enabled by the RaaS platform. 

"Madewell Forever" launches with over 3,000 pre-owned women's jeans, and new styles are added hourly as available. The assortment is curated by Madewell and is stocked through ThredUp’s inventory, as well as denim that is collected at Madewell retail locations. 

To participate in "Madewell Forever," anyone can bring any brand or style of pre-worn jeans into Madewell stores and earn $20 toward a full-priced pair of Madewell jeans. Collected items are sent to ThredUp, which sorts the inventory to determine what can be re-sold. 

Women's Madewell denim that meets ThredUp’s quality standards will be re-sold on the Madewell Forever site, or in select stores. Denim that is deemed unsellable will be recycled through approved programs such as Cotton's Blue Jeans Go Green program. Prices range from $35-$50. 

"At Madewell, we believe that it is our responsibility to create quality products that are built to last, develop solutions to reduce apparel waste, and keep clothing in circulation for as long as possible," said Libby Wadle, CEO of J.Crew Group. "We are deeply committed to extending the life of our product and are thrilled to unveil 'Madewell Forever' in partnership with ThredUp that will meaningfully extend the life of our product. We hope this launch will set a new standard for the fashion industry and encourage our peers to join us in finding circular solutions that reduce retail's environmental impact."

"It's exciting to see a beloved brand like Madewell working to extend the life of their clothes and commit to a more circular fashion future," says James Reinhart, ThredUp co-founder and CEO. "We are proud ThredUp's operating platform will enable and scale a meaningful resale channel for Madewell through 'Madewell Forever'. Together, we are not only helping Madewell take steps towards their sustainability goals, but also furthering ThredUp's mission to inspire a new generation of consumers to think secondhand first."

Through the platform, Madewell and ThredUp aim to collect one million pairs of denim by 2023 – double what Madewell has collected in the past six years through its existing denim trade-in program. "Madewell Forever" is the latest of the brand's sustainability initiatives; to date Madewell says it has diverted over 500 tons of denim waste from landfills through its existing trade-in program.

Madewell is a part of the J.Crew Group, which operates 145 Madewell stores nationwide and, as of July 20, 2021. Founded in 2009, ThredUp has processed over 100 million unique secondhand items from 35,000 brands across 100 categories.