Explore the future of sustainable fashion, thredUP’s latest brand partnerships, and what it’s like to work for Sir Richard Branson

Our guest is Anthony Marino, President of thredUP.

A product and business development expert, Anthony is responsible for the business performance of the thredUP marketplace.

Prior to thredUP, Anthony spent seven years on the leadership team of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, leading its investment program and product innovation teams in North America.

Episode 38 of RETHINK Retail was recorded on October 17, 2019

TRANSCRIPTION

Julia Raymond:
Hi. Welcome to another episode of RETHINK Retail. Today’s guest is Anthony Marino. Anthony, it’s a pleasure to have you on the show.

Anthony Marino:
Thanks Julia. Great to be here.

Julia Raymond:
Great. A little bit of background. Anthony serves as President of thredUP, a pioneer in bringing the 30 billion dollar fashion resale industry online. Before thredUP, , he spent seven years on the leadership team of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group where he founded Virgin Hotels Group with its award winning flagship in Chicago. Prior to joining Virgin, Anthony was a principal at Venrock, the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller family office, and here he helped founders of rapid growth startups to scale their businesses. Prior to that, he was on the founding team of the voiceover IP software business unit at Ericsson. Anthony also earned his MBA from Harvard after graduating Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University. Anthony, will you first describe a bit about yourself and what you do?

Anthony Marino:
Yeah, so thanks. It’s great to be here. Well, you know, I’ve been at thredUP, for for almost seven years and I’ve spent my whole career in an early stage, high growth businesses. And when I came to thredUP, I realized that there was sort of a pattern and that’s that I keep getting into businesses where people tell us that it’s just going to not going to work. That it’s going to be impossible that we can’t, that we can’t do it, we shouldn’t do it, we shouldn’t bother trying. And it’s just been pretty extraordinary over the past seven years as we’ve built thredUP, to see that it is working and we are growing and it’s happening in a happening in a time when consumers are starting to say, hey, we love this whole resale thrifting thing. And so it’s been a remarkable journey so far.

Julia Raymond:
Certainly. And what was your experience like? Because I know you spent spent seven years at Virgin group. What was it like working on the leadership team?

Anthony Marino:
Well, I’ll tell you a story that I think can sort of sums it up well what it’s like to work for Virgin and for Richard Branson. It was 2008 and I’d been at Virgin for a couple of years and we’d started a number of businesses in the US, Virgin branded businesses in the US and the whole financial crisis hit, I think around September was in Lehman brothers declared bankruptcy. And it was a very grim time. And I went to Richard and I said Richard, and I sort of had prepared for this, I put together a presentation because I was going to make a sort of a pitch to Richard about a new business to start and thought a lot about it and put together this big deck.

Anthony Marino:
And I was like, Richard, I think that Virgin should get into the hotel business. And I sort of continued and started making my arguments. And he [Richard] looked up and said, “okay, let’s do it.” And I continued making my arguments and he was like, “no, no, no.” He [Richard] was like, Anthony, let’s do it. And that was sort of like really?

Anthony Marino:
And I think that really sums up what it’s like working at Virgin and working for Richard. If you can dream up a business and you can articulate how it works for the Virgin brand, Richard says yes. And it has this amazing effect on you of being like, oh my gosh, it’s like the story of the dog who chases the bus when you catch the bus. It’s like, now what do I do? And so, but he put you into this position where you just got to go and do it. And one of the phrases that he loves to say is, screw it, let’s do it. And at the time, in 2008 with financial markets crumbling and real estate going into foreclosure and all this distress in the real estate industry, most people told us it was going to be impossible to do, but we did it. And that that’s an, it’s an incredible place to be where you have that kind of confidence and support to pursue new ventures.

Julia Raymond:
Certainly. And were you nervous pitching this, knowing that the market was kind of crashing?

Anthony Marino:
I was at the time, there was nothing to lose. I mean, it was really a dark time. You had lots of friends who were losing jobs or were afraid for their jobs. And so I never imagined he’d say yes. And so, but it was just, it was an amazing privilege to be able to do that. The timing actually turned out to be okay.

Julia Raymond:
I would say with your flagship that’s won awards in Chicago. So it turned out pretty good. And do you think that experience starting the Virgin Hotels Group, was this something that sort of helped with the transition to the resale apparel market?

Anthony Marino:
Well, I think so. The way I learned about thredUP was because my wife was using it.

Julia Raymond:
Oh, okay.

Anthony Marino:
I came home one night and there was a big green and brown and white polka dot box in our kitchen and it was a thredUP order and it was a box filled with stuff. And my wife was all excited and said, this stuff’s amazing and it’s really a great deal. And I got these beautiful sweaters and she was like, it’s used. And I said, I’ve looked at her, I was like used by who?

Anthony Marino:
And so, and she sort of told me what thredUp was doing and it in that moment I realized that thredUp in some ways they’re just pursuing the classic Virgin playbook, which the business was, had looked at a market that was anything but sexy, the second hand clothing market and had found a way through kind of reinventing the experience from the top down and found a way to create and remove all the friction from what it’s like to buy second hand clothing and to do it online.

Anthony Marino:
And it was as if the six, seven years I’d spent at Virgin had been preparing me to step into a business where we were going to do it in a totally other industry. But this time around it was even more exciting for me because it was a chance to build a brand of our own as opposed to doing what I’d done at Virgin for many years which was to extend that brand into new industries.

Julia Raymond:
Certainly. And it definitely takes the friction away. That’s a good point. With the whole shopping experience with resale. And do you think, going back even further, your experience with startups at the venture capital firm, do you think that also helped influence or support the approach that you’re now implementing with thredUp?

Anthony Marino:
Well, being an investor in a venture capital firm, it’s a different kind of experience. You’re looking for big market opportunities, you’re looking for great management teams. You’re looking for a company that has identified a really clear strategy, either using technology or an opportunity that others have shied away from to crack open a new market or grow an existing market. So I think in some ways when I was a venture capitalist, I had the analytical framework but I didn’t have at that time as much of the experience and what it actually takes to do it, to build teams, to take the strategy and to make it happen day after day. And it takes a lot of focus, a lot of energy and a lot of discipline to do that in a startup environment because you’re going a little at a time, you move forward but then you have setbacks and, but you just have to sort of keep, keep the end game in your sights and know when to pull back every now and then to keep perspective but to keep going.

Anthony Marino:
Because when you’re trying to, in our case, the early days, thredUP was taking pictures of items, secondhand clothing items with iPhones. Now we process an item almost every second, so-

Julia Raymond:
Oh wow, every second.

Anthony Marino:
Every second. So the development and the work and the perseverance and the tenacity that goes into evolving a technology, building an operating platform, building the data sets we need to price clothing, all of that takes time and it takes energy. And as a venture capitalist, at least I’ll speak for myself, I didn’t have a full appreciation for that side of it, although I’d sat in the boardroom. It’s different when you’re in the business.

Julia Raymond:
So it sounds like you’re firing on all cylinders at thredUp and scaling everything at once versus maybe a slightly different approach where you’re doing more step at a time with the startups you’re working with.

Anthony Marino:
Well, I mean, I’m just really passionate about what we’re doing. Early in my career, I always loved getting involved in businesses where we were solving hard problems that others had said we wouldn’t be able to solve. And like when I got out of college, I went to Bell Labs and worked for an incredible mentor there. His name was George Heilmeyer and he had run, he was the CEO of Bell Labs. But before that he had run DARPA for 25 years. And at the time we were trying to figure out a way to inexpensively process phone calls over the internet rather than use specialized Silicon that was very expensive.

Julia Raymond:
Oh, okay.

Anthony Marino:
And there were so many people who told us that it wouldn’t be possible that the phone systems couldn’t support the scale and that we could never operate phone networks and software rather than in this specialized hardware.

Anthony Marino:
And so we did it, but then sort of as I got, as we got through that and I got later in my career, you start to get a little bit more of a desire to have real purpose for what you’re doing. And I found that when the mission to me was more than just building a business but solving a problem that can make the world a little bit better along the way. That’s when I tapped into that is when I had sort of limitless energy and that was sort of a big part of the thredUP story. As of, towards the end of this year actually a little bit sooner, we will have processed over a hundred million unique items that may have otherwise sat idle or ended up in a landfill.

Julia Raymond:
[crosstalk 00:10:21] Wow, a hundred million.

Anthony Marino:
A hundred million items instead of be able to put even a small dent, in a world that look, doesn’t have endless resources and to be able to help people buy things and find great deals, to help people clean out their homes, put some money in their pocket, but also help those clothes find a new home in a way that’s productive. That to me was just an extraordinary challenge, and there was no one who, there were very few people who thought we could actually do that because we’re processing unique items. In typical retail you’ll market a shirt, you’ll take one picture of it and sell a thousand of those shirts or 10,000 of those shirts.

Anthony Marino:
At thredUP we take one picture and we sell one item. Every single item is unique. And on any given day there’s upwards of three, four million unique SKUs in the thredUP eco system.

Julia Raymond:
Wow.

Anthony Marino:
And to be able to take those items and photograph them, price them, attribute them and price them so that we have an understanding for the margin we can generate so that we can offer an amazing deal to our customers. It’s a really gnarly problem, but it’s a problem that if you solve it, it has great benefits for people’s wallets, for the environment and just for the way we think about how we consume them. And that was, that’s really a big, big driver for me.

Julia Raymond:
Definitely. And that’s not, it sounds like it really resonated with you. And it’s something that is increasingly talked about by retailers and I love that thredUP, it’s really core to the mission. It’s not a PR play on sustainability and the resale business model is really driving, I think, the future of sustainable fashion. So I wanted to hear from you. Do you think this is the future? Will sustainability beyond the top of every retailer’s mind in coming years or is this something that is maybe a trend to played it to consumer preferences or behavior?

Anthony Marino:
Well, it’s really interesting. So when I started at thredUP six, seven years ago, and we would show up to talk to retailers or brands and say, hey, here’s what we’re doing and, or we’re a startup you’ve never heard of before and we want to sell amazing branded used apparel on the internet. They would kind of look at us a little funny. Like who wants to do that? Or hey, like we’ve got bigger problems than to be talking about this stuff. And that’s understandable. They had very large businesses to run. But it’s evolved to the point where we did a survey of a bunch of retail and brand executives as part of our resale report. And nine out of 10 retail executives said that they wanted to test resale. And that was just an, it just been an extraordinary shift.

Julia Raymond:
That’s huge.

Anthony Marino:
So I don’t know that it’s the first thing on their mind, but it’s on their mind, and I think the reason why it’s on their mind is because it’s on their customer’s minds. One in three Gen Z-ers, we’ll buy used apparel this year and millennials and Gen Z are adopting secondhand to three times faster than other age groups. It’s just an incredible shift in consumers approach to this. I mean, there used to be a time, I think when people used to say, oh, there’s sort of a stigma associated with buying used. 64 percent of women in the US have bought or are now willing to buy secondhand products. So it’s sort of like, it’s probably in a similar category of, there was a time when it seemed really, really strange to plan a vacation or a work trip and to be saying in someone’s else’s apartment rather than a hotel.

Julia Raymond:
Right.

Anthony Marino:
There probably was a time when it felt really uncomfortable to get into a stranger’s car and have them drive you somewhere, and maybe you don’t even talk to them. So between all these different business models and marketplaces that have popped up that through technology have removed the friction from the experience. I think it really has helped drive the adoption of those businesses and second hand. And I think if you talk to, especially if you talk to younger shoppers for them, they’re like, they don’t even, they look at you funny when you even ask them the question like, is it a stigma? They’re like, this is what we do. And so I think retailers and brands are seeing that in their research. They’re seeing it and what they read about us and others in the marketplace, in our growth.

Anthony Marino:
And I think it’s great. I think it’s great if the whole industry, the fashion industry can just to acknowledge that look consumers are, their tastes are evolving. They always have a hunger for value, but now they expect businesses to, sort of be part of the part of the solution rather than part of the problem. And I think it’s amazing. We’ve partnered with, with Madewell and Reformation and we’re doing work with Macy’s and JCP, all these retailers and brands who are really innovative and forward thinking about how they attract new customers and how they meet these needs around sustainability, but also around great value and great branded product. And so it’s just, it’s wonderful to see.

Julia Raymond:
It really is. And from my point of view, I mean the news was huge when it broke that Macy’s was partnering with thredUP, and that actual merchandise resell merchandise would be in the Macy’s store. That’s incredible. And from my point of view, when I first saw that, and then a couple of days later I heard about the JC Penney partnership. I thought, wow, that is impressive. I mean to, to be going up to Macy’s and saying this is not an exclusive agreement. You guys are partnering with a lot of retail brands. You guys seem to have kind of this upper hand with the partnerships. And I’m wondering, how do you see your partnership network expanding over the coming years?

Anthony Marino:
Well, I think the way we think about it is we’re a platform. The reason why we spent the past 10 years building the operations infrastructure to be able to process an item every second and price them and attribute them and photograph them is so that we can power resale, not only for our own website, for thredup.com and the app and for our stores, but also for other brands and retailers. And so, and we think that as a platform, we want to work with brands and retailers to deliver the type of product to them that’s the most irrelevant to their customers. So while we may work with multiple retailers, no retailer is going to do it exactly the same way in other one is. They all have their own customers, their own approach to merchandising, their own approach to pricing, their on approach to how they think about merchandising, use product next to new product.

Anthony Marino:
And it’s actually sort of, it’s new territory for all of us, and I think, but the customer has essentially said to us, we want to see you. It comes through in the research. So clearly we want to see amazing secondhand product next to new product and if it’s there we’ll spend more at our favorite retailers. And so we really want to partner up with retailers and brands to deliver the best possible experience to them. And that’s figuring out what mix of branded secondhand apparel is the right mix for their stores. And we have the systems and the data and the delivery capability to do that for them and that puts them in a position to do what they do best, which is run amazing retail environment to treat customers really well when they come into those stores and be amazing retailers and we can just, we can power the supply of amazing second hand apparel.

Julia Raymond:
Absolutely. So thredUP is a true partnership with all of the retailers it’s involved with and the retailers, the merchandising strategy’s up to them. It sounds like you guys aren’t involved.

Anthony Marino:
Well we’re involved. I mean they will share with us what they want and we’ll also combine that with data we have for what people are buying and selling in those different geographies. And sort of putting those two things together to create an assortment that’s really ideal for that retailer’s customers and for the geography that we’re in and for any other considerations they have around pricing or specific categories or even colors and sizes. I mean we have a ton of data about each of the millions of items that we receive. And so we can, we can pick and choose those items or let the retailers sort of select those items that are best for their customers, whether they’re trying to put secondhand clothing in their stores or even put them on their websites and have a part of their eCommerce experience be powered by thredUP, but with amazing secondhand branded apparel.

Julia Raymond:
Absolutely. And the data, it sounds like you guys have really impressive data infrastructure where you’re able to share that information as needed. And speaking of data, I wanted to ask because I saw on your really impressive report, the 2019 fashion resale market report that you guys put out, your colleague the co-founder and CEO James Reinhart of thredUP. He said the resale customer is no longer somebody else’s customer. They’re everybody’s customer. And hearing this, I thought, does the ubiquity of the resale shopper pose any challenges for thredUP when it comes to understanding the customers and how they shop? Like if you guys are doing a data analytics to personalize their experience.

Anthony Marino:
I mean, personalization is a very hard math problem whether you’re selling secondhand or whether you’re selling new. And one of the reasons why it’s such a hard math problem is because when a customer comes to your site and clicks on a red dress, a red J.Crew dress, let’s say, are they just looking for something red? Did they love J.Crew? Is it the kind of that dress and exactly how it looks, how do you understand what the intent was behind that signal they gave you that they liked that dress? So whether they’re purchasing new or used, that’s a complicated problem. I’ll tell you that with second hand clothing, it’s even more compounded because if you click on that red J.Crew dress, we probably only have one of that exact type of dress. So, we have to divine from the signals customers send us what in our inventory of millions of unique items, individual unique items, which are the ones that are going to be the most relevant and most exciting to our customers.

Julia Raymond:
Wow.

Anthony Marino:
And so I’ll agree with you. It’s a challenging problem, but we’re getting better at it all the time. And if customers are expecting us to help them sort of sort through and find things. But there’s, these things are all an an issue with balance too because just because you clicked on the red dress, doesn’t mean you want to come back to the site the next day and see a page full of dresses, or a page full of red things, or a page full of a line dresses. Customers still want to see variety and have a sense of discovery. And so how do you inject the right level of personalization with the right level of discovery and adventure? And these are hard problems, but they’re really exciting ones to solve.

Anthony Marino:
And I think one of the things that gets us excited is that we have such a constant flow of fresh inventory. So we list tens of thousands, upwards of hundreds of thousands of items every day. So if you come to thredUP, and you’re shopping and you don’t see exactly what you want, like hit refresh or wait a few minutes and it might actually be there. So that gives us this ability to inject freshness into the experience constantly. And what we found that that’s something that customers said, no matter what their age, no matter what their style choices, they love seeing fresh new product. And if we can essentially show them what would be the equivalent of a hundred stores of inventory in any given day, we find that that’s something the customers just really, really get excited about.

Julia Raymond:
Certainly. And that kind of lends to the whole treasure hunt experience that a lot of people have in like a TJ Maxx, but it’s online because you never know what new inventory will be on thredup.com.

Anthony Marino:
It’s a great analogy. I mean we admire off price retailers a lot for that experience they create of not knowing what’s going to be hanging on the rack every time they walk into the store. And having a constant state of freshness around very, very specific brands. But we even aspire to be more consistent than that so they don’t have to wait every other week. They could come every hour or every day and we see a lot of that kind of repeat visit behavior with our customers.

Julia Raymond:
Wow. That’s impressive. That’s really nice. And just out of my own curiosity, and I don’t know if you can release this information, but I mean, are the systems that you have in place for processing an item per second, I think you said, as far as taking the photo of it and getting it listed, is that all automated? Is there a lot of human elements with this or?

Anthony Marino:
It’s both. So there are elements of it that are done in software or done through automation from a conveyor and carousel perspective, moving things around in an, in an automated way. But there are still some things that people do best, like looking at an item and determining if there was an acceptable level of pilling on the front of that shirt. Like computers, we’re getting better at teaching computers to do those kinds of things and make those kinds of judgments. But for some areas of work like that, still a person has the best judgment.

Julia Raymond:
Totally. We don’t have amazing algorithms for a pilling identification yet it sounds like.

Anthony Marino:
We will one day, but not yet.

Julia Raymond:
Oh, that’s great. And I was really surprised actually to see in your report that, just secondhand shoppers include people that are shopping luxury departments or value chain like Walmart even [crosstalk 00:24:10].

Anthony Marino:
Yeah, yeah. That was, that’s a super, so yeah, what you’re, I think you’re referring to is we ran a national survey where we asked a whole bunch of different shoppers, women shoppers, I think pretty broad age range. We said, hey, if you’re a favorite retailer sell second hand, would you buy more product there? And when we then set a pivoted that data by the type of retailer they said they shopped at. Yeah. Whether they were shopping at Chanel or Louis Vuitton or whether they’re shopping at TJ Maxx or Macy’s or Gap or Target and Walmart, a vast number of those shoppers said absolutely show me the second hand product in in my favorite store and I will buy more. And I think what that should signal to retailers and brands is that the shopper who buys secondhand isn’t someone else’s customer.

Anthony Marino:
It isn’t some niche, it’s their customer. And either that customer is going to buy that product in their store or they’re going to buy it somewhere else. And I think that’s what’s driving a lot of the retailer or brand interest in partnering with us on our resale as a service platform because they’re saying, well heck, if this is what customers want, let’s figure out a way to offer it to them. And while this is a new concept of selling secondhand, it’s what the customer wants. So let’s figure out how to merchandise it. Let’s figure out a price it. And so far we’re seeing really nice success that we expect that as we continue to learn and work out the kinks on these things. Like there is with all new new projects, it’ll just continue to perform.

Anthony Marino:
I think one day, I mean it may not be the perfect analogy, but there, when you go to buy a car these days, there’s new cars on the lot and there’s used cars on the lot and they’re parked right next to each other. And it just depends on what you’re looking for. And cars used to be used. Now they’re certified, they’re certified pre-owned. Right. And I think there will come a time when we’re walking to our favorite stores, and it’ll be the same way. There’ll be new product and there’ll be used product. It’ll be right next to each other and it’s sort of like what value you’re looking for. And, but I think what we see in the research and what we see in some of the early results with our [inaudible 00:26:28] program is that customers tend to come into the stores more.

Anthony Marino:
They tend to buy more. And it sort of, it makes sense that they would come into the store more because they know that there’s fresh inventory on the thredUP racks. It’s more frequent, they know it’s from brands that are really attractive to them and might not have otherwise been in the store before thredUP got there. And then also it’s priced really, really well. And so they’re sort of saying, hey, there’s another reason for me to walk into Macy’s. And we think that’s really, really exciting.

Julia Raymond:
Definitely it’s kind of like the Kohl’s and Amazon partnership and giving customers and other reason to go to Kohl’s and the potential that a customer might buy something else that Macy’s while they’re shopping the thredUP racks and I love your futuristic outlook, Anthony. Just the whole idea of potential future stores walking in and just seeing a certified pre-owned piece of clothing right next to a brand new piece of clothing. Whatever it may be is really something that I haven’t heard yet. So I enjoy hearing your perspective on that.

Julia Raymond:
The one thing I did see in the report that was really shocking is that the resell market is growing. It grew 21 times faster than the retail apparel market. And that was over the past three years. And I wanted to ask you, because resale isn’t new, it’s been around, but the market is rapidly growing, the consumers are demanding it. And in your opinion, is this more of a resurgence or resale Renaissance or is this like a new era of demand for resale?

Anthony Marino:
Yeah, I think it’s all the above. So I think there’s a couple different things going on. So I mean from the thredUP perspective, we’ve built the backbone of resale on the internet. And so what that means is we’ve made buying used really easy and frankly as easy as buying new. So 70 percent of our customers had never bought used before. So when you could come to an experience where you can search, you can filter, you can sort of browse and get ideas and get inspired based on seasonal stories or fashion stories that just hasn’t, hadn’t existed before in this way. So if you remove the friction from the experience, you get people who may not have otherwise considered it or who didn’t, or discouraged by the work of going to their local consignment store or going to a site that wasn’t merchandised as cleanly and now they’re really interested and they start to think of it when they’re about to shop.

Anthony Marino:
It’s sort of not a niche choice, it’s a mainstream choice. The mission of thredUP is to inspire a new generation of shoppers to think secondhand first. And we knew from day one that if we were going to inspire a new generation of shoppers to think secondhand first, we better make it really, really easy. And so I think that’s a part of it. I think another part of it is some of the things we’ve already talked about that sustainability is an important background driver. It’s not going to be that we think the read, the number one reason why people buy, because value is always the number one reason why people buy. But 74 percent of millennials and Gen Z-ers prefer to buy from sustainably conscious brands. So preference doesn’t mean that if the price is more, they’re going to choose the sustainable choice.

Anthony Marino:
But like all else being equal, it’s something that’s important to them and we think that’ll just continue to move up through the generations of shoppers. And then finally, freshness and selection are really important to customers. And it’s a little bit like the Instagram generation or not even Instagram. It’s the mobile generation that all of us fall into where we’re constantly flicking our thumbs. We’re constantly looking to see what’s next. And so I think that sort of what’s next, what’s new, what’s fresh part of the shopping experience is really important. And if you can get sort of that closet flipping fun, but without the eco hangover of fast fashion. And I think that’s like quite a trifecta for shoppers. And so I think those are some of the forces that are really driving the growth of the market.

Julia Raymond:
Definitely. It’s almost addicting. When you’re scrolling through and we’re all getting carpal tunnel. And we just keep scrolling and whatever comes next.

Anthony Marino:
We want it to be a healthy choice. We want it to be a healthy addiction, which I think was called a good habit in the old days. So we want it to be a good habit. We want it to put money back in people’s pockets. We want them to look and feel great. We want it to have an impact on the environment, on our consumption. We think that’s just a great way to purchase and to live.

Julia Raymond:
I think so too. And you, it’s interesting you said that thredUP is inspiring the new generation of shoppers because there is some discussion around a lot of luxury brands for example, are not resonating as much. With the new generations who view luxury little differently. Maybe it’s more about where you’re traveling or the freedom you have. And so, I’m seeing like Burberry last week partnered with the Real Real. And I think that we’ll see more partnerships from some of these high end brands.

Anthony Marino:
Yeah, we love to see that. We love to see brands testing into it and it takes a while. Some brands are moving very quickly and they’re testing quickly and learning quickly and others it takes some time. But we think it’s just great progress. Whether it’s luxury brands or mainstream brands or mass brands, it’s… One of the things that we’ve really tried to do with our resales as service platform is to be flexible. So if we have brands like Reformation where we power a clean out and a power recycling service for them, that’s one way to do it. If you have a brand who’s more a retailer who’s more aggressive, who actually wants to sell a secondhand product in their properties, that’s another way to go. So we’re trying to create on our side a flexible platform where no matter where you are as a brand or retailer on that process of wanting to experiment with secondhand and serve their customers in a new way, we can help them do that.

Julia Raymond:
Totally. That’s great. And I do have, I know we have a few minutes left, I just wanted to ask you about the Madewell archive program because that was just announced recently.

Anthony Marino:
Yeah, it’s, well, Madewell, we love those guys. So they’re a leader and an innovator. I mean who doesn’t love Madewell right? So our customers love their brand too and we think their customers will love thredUP. So they actually have a bunch of sustainability initiatives that are designed to extend the life span of their denim. And so what they wanted to do was something, a new experiment with us where we created something called the Madewell archive. And this is where we power for them, a curated selection of pre-owned Madewell jeans from thredUP’s inventory.

Anthony Marino:
And now you can find those jeans in a bunch of their stores and so, and each pair of jeans in their archive collection in the stores were hand selected by Madewell and they come right from a inventory that thredUP is already receiving. So it’s just a really cool way for them to create a whole different merchandising experience in the store or it’s the set of one of a kind items that are of amazing quality to come through our network. So it’s something that we’re super excited about.

Julia Raymond:
Definitely. I’m excited about it too. I’ll have to go buy some new jeans.

Anthony Marino:
Go check it out.

Julia Raymond:
And then I guess I just wanted to ask you, Anthony, what are you most excited about as you look into the holiday season and then into 2020?

Anthony Marino:
Yeah, I mean look, at thredUP we’re really, really focused on doing the two things that really our customers care the most about. The first is making it super easy for our sellers, for people who want to clean out their closets, to send the items in their closets that they’re no longer wearing to us. So they can come to thredUP, come to our website, order a cleanout bag, or they can print a prepaid label. And we want to make it super easy for them to create space in their house over the holidays. Get that stuff out of there so that you can make room for all the other stuff that you’re going to get under the tree or in your stocking or whatever it is. So always focus on making that process fast and transparent.

Anthony Marino:
And then the second thing we’re doing is we’re listing more and more amazing secondhand product for people to buy. And it’s 70, 80, 90 percent off retail. It’s across 35,000 brands. And so that’s it. That’s the goal. We’re just really focused on making those customer experiences for our sellers and for our buyers amazing. For making it indistinguishable from buying new, except for the fact that you’re doing something for your wallet, for the planet and you’re looking great at the same time. So that’s the focus.

Julia Raymond:
That’s a good focus to have. And Anthony Marino, President of thredUP, thank you for joining us on the show today.

Anthony Marino:
Yeah, thanks Julia. It was great.