Accessories Fashion

How Much Is That Cartier In The Window? How To Buy Shopworn Luxury

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By Chere Di Boscio

If you truly knew the amount of waste in fashion, you’d probably fall over.

High end designers often burn – yes, burn – unused fabric and unsold clothing, rather than have their competitors get their hands on their fabrics. Some aspirational brands (Hermes comes to mind) would rather throw out an item with a tiny flaw, (no matter how imperceptible), than put it up for sale. And most retailers of luxury goods are very secretive about what they do with display stock, with good reason – it’s pretty wasteful! Believe it or not, some will either outright trash display items after those models are out of season, whilst others take items like jewellery apart to be repurposed later. A few offer display merchandise at a discount to employees – but if you don’t work there, forget about it.

Until now, that is.

ShopWorn is a bridge that actually helps the brands and solves this problem. They don’t resell the products elsewhere and only sell their inventory as “ShopWorn” – whereas other retailers may incorrectly sell “shopworn” products as new. Therefore, they help the brands by keeping the integrity of their products by ensuring items will only be sold on and will only be sold as “shopworn”.

Aware of this senseless waste going on in the luxury retail and jewellery sectors, two brothers had the brilliant idea of buying up that stock and offering it to the public. Richard and Larry Birnbaum launched in  2016, allowing shoppers exclusive entry to an online showroom of the world’s finest “shopworn” luxury items at significantly discounted prices. Stock includes Swiss watches, fine jewellery, handbags, gifts, accessories and more. Never pre-owned, all shopworn products are guaranteed authentic, and are only sold after having been gently handled by customers and sales staff.

Labels include conscious luxury brands like  Cartier, Chopard, and Jaeger-LeCoultre, as well as others such as Ulysse Nardin, Bulgari, Celine and more.

How It Works

You may be wondering how you can get your hands on luxury goods that have never been used, but are considered ‘shop worn.’ The answer is that the ShopWorn team searches the globe for goods, which they then inspect, photograph, then post on their site.

These  pieces are highly limited in quantity, and thanks to the huge discounts, treasures can be found here for incredible bargains, allowing you to treat friends, family and yourself to indulgences you’d never have thought you could have afforded before. It’s an addictive site that will appeal to the keen collector, bargain hunter, gift-giver or elite fashionista.  As Larry Birnbaum, President explains:

“Our goal is to make ShopWorn the place for our customers to curate their own luxury style at unbelievable deals, and to become their source for distinctive luxury gifts.”

It’s hard to believe that items as beautiful as these could ever possibly be destined for destruction, but the type of luxury item recovery ShopWorn offers is yet another innovative way fashion retailing – even at the highest end – is getting more sustainable.

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