Curated resale platform Second Launch aims to contribute to a zero-waste future of fashion
”What sets us apart, is that we have no interest in current collections. We are not your regular wholesaler and definitely not an outlet. Our core focus is to extend product life-cycle of already existing sustainable goods, by giving these unsold products a second chance,” founder Nathalie Lazare explains.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
May 02, 2022
Born in Mauritius and raised around the world, Lazare came to Norway in 2009 and used her background in high street fashion and sportswear to ”give back” in some form.
— There was always that nagging voice of wanting to do better, be better, and give back. So I had to find a way to combine the two. How could I still work with what I loved, but help make a difference? This brings us here.
— I wanted to create a platform that not only showcased sustainable businesses but also help to lessen our environmental impact while bringing awareness to both environmental and humanitarian issues. Second Launch is a unique concept striving for a zero-waste future and our business model is based on those principles.
— We are a curated resale platform focusing on zero-waste and slow fashion, partnering and bringing awareness to genuinely sustainable brands committed to making a difference. What sets us apart, is that we have no interest in current collections. We are not your regular wholesaler and definitely not an outlet. Our core focus is to extend the product life-cycle of already existing sustainable goods, by giving these unsold products a second chance. Extending product life has a greater environmental impact than any other. In the long run, it reduces consumption, overproduction, emission, waste, and water footprint, while contributing to a slow fashion model. We value the people and process behind our products. Therefore our price points are only slightly discounted. We offer classic, timeless pieces that are seasonless. We are here to break the mindset and the emotional aspect of self-image in needing to own the latest fashion, the latest colour, the latest trend. Our products are of high quality, eco-friendly, ethical and, best of all, affordable, says Lazare.
Tell us about your partnering brands.
— We do not want to promote overconsumption and certainly not over-production. Therefore the decision was made to only bring on board a few carefully selected sustainable brands and carry limited products. We had an overwhelming response to our concept and had to be selective, which included extensive research on our partners’ sustainability reports. Each brand we carry has something unique in its business model, which relates to our core values of helping to bring awareness and solutions to the environmental and humanitarian crises. Some are providing life-changing job opportunities to women, supporting local young artisans to make a living and others are helping the planet. Be it by planting trees, being members of 1% for the Planet, or taking action against plastic waste. One thing they all have in common is the high quality, eco-friendly and ethically made products. This is why we believe these products deserve to have a second chance.
Lazare also states the importance of shining a light on consumer power in order to create a better industry.
— We as consumers have great power over what we choose to purchase. Consumption increases production. If we continue to feed into the fast fashion frenzy and instant gratification, we will be our own enemy. If anything, the pandemic has taught us the need to slow down and consumers have started to understand. It does not always fall in the hands of big corporations to change their ways. Some are too profit-driven to care. The responsibility is in our hands, and we have the power to change it. Consumers need to start asking more questions before making a purchase. Research the brands. If brands do not address their social and environmental responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to ask. Transparency is key. Sustainability has become the buzzword brands are jumping on, but we need to differentiate between those greenwashing.
Around half a year after launching, have you gained any insights from the industry and how the brands work with these questions, that you’d like to share?
— The state of the industry is at a turning point for sure, but it will take time. It seems that more brands and people are listening, but we have a long way to go still to become a sustainable industry. I have seen too many businesses jumping on the sustainability bandwagon. Hurrying up to incorporate some recycled material, some organic material to be able to advertise ’we are sustainable’, ’we care’. While nothing could be further from the truth. Factories are pushed to produce for the bare minimum, threats of cancellations if the cost could not be met, order cancellations that simply became the factories’ problems, cutting corners on materials … the list goes on.
— But through my research while starting Second Launch, I became aware of how many brands out there are working hard to build a sustainable industry. And that sustainability in this business comes in many different ways, but we need to work collectively for real change to happen. From innovative materials, supply chains, workers’ rights, more energy-efficient production processes and not least a zero-waste model. Whichever road brands take, should lead to a future model that is able to leverage excess inventory. It will be no good for us to change a thing or two if the old system of over-producing remains.
And for you, what’s coming?
— One of our main focuses is our contribution to future workshops and events with Amnesty International. And, after the fantastic response that we received for our first pop-up in April, we’ll be participating again at Vulcan Showcase by Paguro, May 21–22, Lazare concludes.