Vinted: The Billion-Euro Tech Startup Taking On Fast Fashion
Vinted, the popular app for buying and selling secondhand clothes, shoes, and gadgets, has become a billion-euro tech startup with 105 million users and 500 million items for sale. The app has gained significant traction, particularly in the UK, where it boasts an astonishing 16 million users, nearly one-quarter of the population. Competing with established rivals like Depop and eBay, Vinted offers attractive prices and a treasure-hunt-like experience that keeps users coming back for more.
The Appeal of Vinted
Vinted has won over users with its easy-to-use interface and convenient delivery options. Unlike eBay, Vinted generates an in-app postage label, making the shipping process hassle-free. Additionally, there are no seller fees or complicated categories to navigate when listing an item. Users also appreciate the authenticity of the items on Vinted, as store website photos of the clothing being modeled are not allowed. This sets it apart from platforms like Depop and eBay, which often feature more professional and expensive resellers.
The Financial and Environmental Benefits
Vinted has proven to be a lucrative platform for sellers like Melanie Monchar, who has made £800 by selling her daughter’s old clothes. Beyond the financial benefits, many users feel good about selling items that still have life in them rather than throwing them away. Vinted’s mission is to make secondhand the first choice globally, and its CEO, Adam Jay, is a testament to the platform’s success. Jay himself is clad almost entirely in items purchased on Vinted, highlighting the app’s appeal and affordability.
Challenging Fast Fashion
While Vinted has made significant strides in the secondhand market, experts believe it has yet to disrupt the fast fashion industry. Dr. Elaine Ritch, an expert in fashion-consumer behavior, believes that Vinted can appeal to young consumers seeking more individualistic styles. Fast fashion retailers often sell homogenized clothing, while Vinted offers a wider array of unique items. Users like Arjun Gossain appreciate the quality and longevity of items purchased through Vinted, such as a forest-green Levi’s jacket that has stood the test of time.
The Environmental Impact
Although Vinted provides a more sustainable alternative to buying new clothes, there is still an environmental cost associated with packaging and delivery. McKinsey reports that road freight accounts for 15% of Europe’s CO2 emissions, and the “last mile” of delivery is particularly polluting. However, experts argue that utilizing resources already in circulation is crucial in reducing waste. Vinted’s legacy may lie in rebranding secondhand shopping as both socially acceptable and aspirational.
The Journey of Vinted
Vinted’s success story began in 2008 when co-founders Milda Mitkute and Justas Janauskas launched a website to sell 100 items from Mitkute’s closet. Initially an amateur effort, the platform quickly gained traction in Lithuania. In 2011, angel investor Mantas Mikuckas recognized the potential of Vinted and joined as an investor. Today, Vinted is backed by multiple venture capital funds and continues to grow.
Vinted has emerged as a billion-euro tech startup, challenging established rivals and attracting millions of users with its easy-to-use platform and attractive prices. While it has yet to disrupt the fast fashion industry, Vinted offers a more sustainable alternative for those seeking unique and affordable clothing options. As the app continues to expand globally, it may play a significant role in redefining secondhand shopping as socially acceptable and aspirational.
Original Story at www.theguardian.com – 2024-01-09 11:07:00