CrushON: fight against fast fashion with vintage fashion

CrushON: the anti-fast-fashion 2.0 thrift store. is Topist on Carenews. Credit: CrushON

Top 50 Impact Entrepreneurs 2021

This article is taken from the Top 50 Impactful Entrepreneurship 2021. Initiated by Carenews, powered by HAATCH and ESSEC and supported by BNP Paribas, this ranking reveals the 50 most impactful structures (companies, associations, cooperatives) of 2021 Discover the details of the second edition of the Top 50 and its winners in the 136-page book that presents the methodology, the evaluation criteria, the portraits, the figures, the analyzes and background files about the SSE networks or impact measurement.

Who are you ?

Three old friends, three vintage fans, we always go to thrift shops to dig up the rare pearl. Maxime, our CEO, graduated in finance and IT from HEC Montreal. Ilhem and I did a master’s degree in fashion management at the international school Mod’Art. The three of us launched CrushON when we were students and we are now over 15 in the team!

How did the idea for CrushON come about?

CrushON is primarily a story that started during a conversation with the managers of the thrift stores where we went hunting. We started from the double observation that: the fashion industry is no longer socially and ecologically viable and there is enough clothing on earth not to have to produce new ones! We founded CrushON in 2018 to democratize circular fashion and make second-hand the first viable and sustainable alternative to textile consumption in the face of fast fashion! CrushON gives all consumers access to unique, ecological and affordable fashion, online and in-store, thanks to an online sales platform that brings together more than 1,300 thrift stores and partner designers. Vintage Markets are held several times a month in France and Germany, and there are two brick and mortar stores in Galeries Lafayette and Westfield Les 4 Temps.

What is the story behind your name CrushON?

CrushON, or “crush on” means in love in English because when you step into a traditional thrift store you never know what you’ll find there, everything goes to the crush.

Why did you choose to transform the fashion industry? And where did this vocation come from to tackle the abuses in the fashion industry?

Passionate about all three fashions, we couldn’t work in the industry as it exists today: humiliating to the planet and to its inhabitants. Ilhem wrote his graduation thesis on the digitization of second-hand clothing stores and discovered a real need among these players who want to develop their activity on different sales channels. Today, CrushON unites more than 1,300 independent vintage stores and offers them sales opportunities, both online and in person, so that they can live their passion.

How does your solution differ from all second-hand fashion markets (Vinted, Videdressing, Vestiaire Collective…)?

CrushON offers a quality range, selected only by vintage fashion professionals. The rigorous selection of vintage clothing by our thrift stores allows us to provide consumers with a better quality offering, compared to C2C solutions.

However, we encourage CrushON Family sellers to maintain the same prices as in-store to preserve the authentic vintage experience, but from home!

What exactly is circular fashion?

Unlike linear fashion, which converts matter into clothing and then into waste, without conceivable reuse, circular fashion reuses and recycles matter ad infinitum, continuously creating value.

Is it “impact” to sell clothes that have already been used?

We just released a quantified report on our impact in 2021! Thanks to all the second-hand purchases on CrushON, we saved 94 million liters of water by 2021 (the equivalent of more than 1.5 million showers).

Is buying second-hand still taboo in 2022?

Unfortunately, yes! Many prejudices stick to the skin of second-hand fashion: “this is outdated clothing”, “it is not clean”. Today, democratizing vintage also means lifting the curtain on this little-known industry and breaking down one by one all the prejudices that serve it.

What are the problems when buying clothes in the so-called classic circuit?

The fashion industry is responsible for 8-10% of global CO2 emissions; that’s more than all international flights and shipments combined. Today, however, we buy an average of 60% more clothes than 20 years ago and keep them for half as long. This rate of production and consumption is destroying our resources with no respect for the planet and its inhabitants. Second-hand fashion offers a concrete way to respond positively to the impact of consumption on a social scale.

Did you raise money last year? If so, what are your goals?

In addition to Bpifrance and the Île-de-France region, we are currently supported by expert business angels in technology, e-commerce, textile recycling and impact. Our goal in 2022 is to become the number 1 omnichannel platform for circular fashion in Europe.

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