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The RealReal’s Sustainability Calculator Shows How Consignment Helps Save the Planet

What impact does consignment have on the planet?

In acknowledgement of National Consignment Day on Oct. 1, The RealReal is launching a sustainability calculator to find out.

With the first calculation, the company focused solely on women’s apparel — and discovered that the 2.5 million items consigned to The RealReal since 2012 offset 65 million car miles in greenhouse gases and energy.

“Consigning is good for the environment, and I am thrilled we have developed a valid and quantifiable way for our customers to measure the positive impact their consignment has on the planet,” founder Julie Wainwright stated. “It takes my breath away that people consigning apparel alone have made such a tremendous impact — the equivalent of 340,000 trees planted.”

To develop the methodology quantifying greenhouse gas, energy and water saved from women’s clothing items consigned, The RealReal worked with Shift Advantage, a Portland, Ore.-based sustainability consultancy. The methodology specifically took into account four factors: impact by material, item archetypes, fabric composites and product type composites.

This is not the first sustainability initiative taken by The RealReal. The brand collaborated with vegan designer Stella McCartney to create an advertising campaign for Earth Day in April. Titled “The Future of Fashion Is Circular,” the campaign promoted the creation of resellable apparel and accessories that could be recirculated many times within the economy.

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