J. Crew Gets Into Resale With ‘Always’ Banner, ThredUp Partnership

The retailer this week detailed the resale program, which will also allow consumers to send in used clothing for shopping credit.
A J. Crew sign on a building.
  • J. Crew this week launched a new banner focused on resale.
  • The recommerce venture is a partnership with ThredUp and is called J. Crew Always.
  • It’s the second time J. Crew Group has partnered with ThredUp after its launched recommerce with the Madewell banner in 2021.

J. Crew said it would partner with ThredUp and launch a new recommerce initiative under the new banner J. Crew Always.

The effort was detailed this week by Liz Hershfield, senior vice president and head of sustainability for J. Crew Group, during NRF 2023: Retail’s Big Show.. 

The resale program will include offering used clothing online and vintage styles from the 1980s and 90s in select J. Crew stores, Reuters reported. The vintage clothing will be sold at two stores in New York City, the retailer’s stores on Fifth Avenue and Bowery. J. Crew also said that consumers would be able to send gently worn clothing to ThredUp to earn shopping credit on the platform. 

While it’s the first time the J. Crew banner will be involved in resale, it’s not the first foray into recommerce for J. Crew Group, which also owns the Madewell brand. The retailer in 2021 first partnered with ThredUp on the “Madewell Forever” banner. Both the 2021 partnership and the current partnership are powered by ThredUp’s resale as a service, which sees it partner with third-party apparel retailers to power the logistics behind their recommerce operations. Other ThredUp partnerships include ones with Gap, Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer and Abercrombie & Fitch among others.

According to J. Crew’s website, consumers can pick up a “clean out” kit from a J. Crew store or print out a label from ThredUp to send in unwanted clothes. The clothes don’t have to be J. Crew branded, the retailer says. Clothing is evaluated by ThredUp and listed for sale. Anything that sells within 30 days earns a consumer credit to purchase items from J. Crew. If items don’t sell, they’re recycled.

"Resale is still quite small for us, but ultimately the goal is to grow a circular business where you can extend the life of a product and it's profitable and it does really well," Hershfield said at Retail’s Big Show, according to Reuters. 

The move comes as sustainability and circular fashion continue to become more important to both consumers and retailers, especially as retailers look to court purpose-driven customers. According to Statista, the recommerce market in the U.S. was estimated at more than $160 billion in 2021, up from $140 billion the year before. The market is expected to near $245 billion by 2025.