With the climate crisis becoming an increasing problem, and the reality of the environmental impact of the fashion industry settling in, consumers are turning towards more sustainable ways of shopping. From clothing rentals, to vintage pop-ups and the rise of second—hand luxury stores, the fashion-conscious community is addressing the issue—and so is CLOSET Genève.
Launched in 2019, CLOSET Genève gives users the opportunity to buy and sell authentic, pre-owned luxury goods, at an affordable price. Founder Victoria Uldry and her team, carefully select the highest-quality pre-loved clothes and accessories, offering buyers a curated edit of unique, long-lasting designs. Whether you’re updating your wardrobe or selling an item, the platform handles everything on their side — from collecting and delivering, to strictly authenticating items and securing payments.
In a nutshell, the company aims to make buying second-hand luxury, a safe and pleasurable experience. It gives buyers the chance to purchase designer items through sustainable means, while also making exclusive pieces more widely available. From rare Hermès bags to timeless Chanel finds, and show-stopping vintage jewellery, Closet Genève is Switzerland’s second-hand luxury hotspot and we’re here for it.
Read on for our exclusive interview with founder, Victoria Uldry, where we discuss the origins of her business, what’s on offer and the future of sustainable fashion.
What inspired you to create CLOSET Genève?
It all started when I spotted an opportunity while trying to sell my own luxury items. I had a lot of designers goods that I wasn’t wearing and wanted to sell—but the process was complicated and there were a lot of trust issues online. That’s when I came up with the idea to create a trusted marketplace where you could buy and sell authentic, luxury products within Switzerland. I wanted to elevate the overall experience of reselling designer fashion: creating a safe space for consumers to shop and sell, while making the process as fulfilling and exciting as buying first-hand. From launching a secure digital platform and appointment-based showroom, to ensuring authenticity and payments for clients, we aim to show people how easy it is to give a second life to their luxury items, while also being more sustainable.
How does CLOSET Genève work and what do you offer to consumers?
We basically act as a third party between buyers and sellers, handling all the processes on our side and making sure everything runs smoothly. For sellers: they contact us through social media, send us pictures of the designer products they want to sell and then our team of specialists value the items before setting a price. We then collect the items, professionally clean and photograph them, so that our team can promote the products on our digital platforms. For buyers: they shop from a curated edit of pre-loved designer pieces, that have all been quality checked and authenticated using Entrupy, an advanced authentication technology. We’re really present throughout their purchasing journey, available for contact and ready to answer all questions on products. Once an item is finally purchased, the seller obtains a payment and the buyer receives the product perfectly boxed and ready for use. We really want to transform the experience of buying pre-owned luxury, making it as easy, regulated and inspiring.
What are the most sought-after items desired by your consumers?
Our most wanted brands are typically Chanel, Hermès and Dior, followed by Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Celine—but we also get a lot of interest in emerging designers and brands, and vintage pieces that are hard to find. The handbags are certainly the most popular category, however clothing and fine jewellery are in high demand too.
What do you love most about your business?
I love everything about it — building a team, promoting sustainability and creating relationships with consumers. We develop close bonds with our clients, discovering their stories while helping them give a second life to their items. From inspiring people to shop more sustainably and build an eco-friendly wardrobe, to making luxury fashion more widely available at an affordable price, it’s a totally rewarding business that’s helping the planet too.
What are the benefits of buying second-hand luxury goods?
A major advantage of second-hand luxury, is that it gives shoppers the ability to gain access to designer items at more accessible price points — the prices are very attractive and enable aspiring consumers to purchase a wider range of products. Another advantage is the chance for shoppers to find unique pieces, limited-edition collections and vintage gems that they wouldn’t normally find. As we carefully curate all luxury items on our platforms, this guarantees a selection of high-quality models that are both beautiful and long-lasting. Ultimately, the pre-owned luxury market gives consumers the opportunity to continuously refresh their wardrobe, while reducing their environmental impact.
Over recent years, luxury consumer’s have been turning towards a more sustainable lifestyle – Why do you think people are more open to buying second-hand fashion?
In response to the growing climate crisis and the exposure of the fashion industry’s impact on the environment, luxury buyers have become more educated and are taking matters into their own hands. These consumers are choosing a more sustainable lifestyle, preferring to invest in pre-owned luxury that is better priced too. But it’s not just about sustainability — buying second-hand has become more regulated and the process is a lot more easy and secure. Many consumers are also investing in pre-owned goods because they want things that are unique. There are a lot of trends that look the same nowadays, and younger buyers are looking to experiment with stand-out, vintage treasures that nobody else will have.
What do you think is the future of sustainable fashion?
Surely we’ll see luxury brands create their own second-hand platforms, where they’ll buy back items from customers, then resell them. As more people awaken to the environmental issues, there will be more second-hand fashion initiatives launching all over the world — reselling luxury has never been more easy!
Do you have any upcoming events we should know about?
We are doing a pop-up event next week in Geneva, from the 8th until the 13th of December. It’s going to be a great experience with over five thousand pieces— brand new and rare vintage finds—available for sale as the perfect festive gift.
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