Good fashion never goes out of style. It becomes “vintage,” “retro,” “classic,” and – in the case of J Crew – “sustainable.”
The clothing company this week introduced a new initiative, J Crew Always, designed to help consumers to give clothing new life. “Since 1983, J.Crew has designed timeless styles that are made to last for generations,” said Derek Yarbrough, chief marketing officer for J Crew Group. “Think about some of your favorite wearable heirlooms: that softer-than-soft cashmere sweater, those perfectly broken-in jeans – we want our customers to pass those on when they’re done wearing them, but unfortunately, 73 percent of pre-owned clothes are sent to landfills, instead of being reused or recycled.”
J Crew Always was born out of both the company’s desire to encourage sustainability and a way to connect with younger consumers, who are more activist in nature and are concerned about their person impact on the environment. “J.Crew has always stood for timeless and sustainable style. We intend for J.Crew product to not only be handed down, but handed around, and further inspire our consumers’ best life and style for generations to come,” Yarbrough said. “We want our young consumers to take away this message and inspire a new generation of consumers to think secondhand first.”
J Crew Always consists of two programs, a resale program in partnership with thredUP and the introduction of J Crew Vintage clothing lines. “The program was born out of our company’s commitment and customer demand to redefine the hand-me-down and put an item of clothing back into the circular economy,” Yarbrough said. “Although these programs work separately, they complement one another.”
The main sustainability element is the partnership with thredUP, which enable consumers to buy and sell “gently worn” womens and kids J Crew items online. Sellers will receive payment in the form of J Crew shopping credit.
“Keeping clothes out of landfills by shopping preloved J.Crew pieces, allows our customers to not only shop sustainably and help the environment reduce carbon, waste and water footprints but empowers them to clean out their closet and say goodbye to clothes that have fallen out of their rotation,” Yarbrough said. “At J.Crew, we imagine a world where doing good is part of doing business and are dedicated to operating more sustainably at all levels of our business.”
Secondarily, J Crew is featuring some of its vintage womenswear looks in its NYC Fifth Avenue store. Styles include 1990s cotton sweater vests, 1980s cropped jean jackets, 1990s denim skirts and more. In addition, the company will feature vintage menswear looks at its Bowery store in New York City.
The company is promoting the J Crew Always program through its social media channels and with a public relations push, Yarbrough said.