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Arlington-Based Recurate Helps Fashion Brands Facilitate Secondhand Sales

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1812 N. Moore Street in Rosslyn.

Online secondhand shopping is taking the U.S. fashion market by storm and one Arlington startup is helping traditional retailers adapt.

Recurate — co-founded by CEO Adam Siegel, who lives and works from home in Rosslyn — allows retail brands to host resale platforms where customers can sell their used items directly from their purchase history.

The company manages the shipment from the seller to the buyer, and the seller is compensated with in-store credit or cash once the product is delivered.

“Every brand has lost revenue and customers to the resale market,” CEO Adam Siegel tells ARLnow. “Sites like Poshmark and ThredUp have made it cool to buy pre-owned products, and brands’ customers are flocking to those sites to buy branded pieces.”

The market for used clothing and accessories is projected to more than triple in value in the next decade, from $28 billion in 2019 to $80 billion in 2029, Fast Company reports. In 2019, it expanded 21 times faster than conventional apparel retail.

“We’re confident that branded ‘recommerce’ will become mainstream in the next couple years, and brands realize that they need to sell both new and pre-loved items in order to address their customers’ desires,” Siegel said.

Many consumers are switching to secondhand clothing to avoid supporting “fast fashion,” the moniker encompassing international retailers such as Zara and H&M, which sell trendy, inexpensive clothing made in sometimes unsafe factories by workers earning a few dollars a day.

Siegel said he and his business partner Chief Operating Officer Wilson Griffin founded Recurate by drawing on their long histories in sustainable retailing.

Griffin worked in The Gap’s sustainability team for the last six years, addressing issues like energy reduction, renewable energy generation, and waste reduction.

Siegel said he built and led the sustainability and ethical production programs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the trade association that represents the largest retailers.

Those experiences led them to found Recurate and expand resale opportunities to retail outlets.

“It was clear that the secondhand market was growing, and given our collective experience, we knew that buying used is the most sustainable way to shop,” Siegel said.

The company, founded in early 2020, just before the pandemic, announced it recently raised $3.25 million in seed funding. Recurate intends to use the funds to continue to expand operations and its business reach.

This is the second round of funding, following up on a pre-seed round last summer, Siegel said.

The company recently announced it is partnering with La Ligne, Mara Hoffman, and Peak Design. Siegel said brands find Recurate through mutual connections and online events.

“We are fortunate to have so much interest from such wonderful — and industry-leading — brands,” Siegel said.

Photo courtesy Adam Siegel

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