Fashion brand and material innovation company Pangaia has been known for groundbreaking clothing concepts since its inception in 2018. Now, after integrating traceable digital passports into its products in 2021, it’s introducing the first digital passport-enabled peer-to-peer resale platform.
In partnership with resale-as-a-service company Archive and digital ID company EON, Pangaia launched the platform, dubbed Pangaia ReWear, on Tuesday for U.K. consumers. The plan is to scale the service internationally over the next year.
The digital passport integration means that Pangaia’s customers can scan a QR code that’s been integrated into their Pangaia item to instantly upload its details to the platform. This upload process has been a barrier to entry for consumers considering becoming resellers.
Key to launching the platform was customer feedback across Pangaia’s marketing platforms about wanting to resell items and shop the brand at resale, said Maria Srivastava, chief impact officer at Pangaia.
“We have tested and commercialized new recycled materials and dyes, but we hadn’t yet explored the possibilities around a circular business model until now,” said Srivastava. “This felt like a natural step for us, as a number of our customers are actively looking to resell and buy pre-loved items online. We saw an opportunity to provide an easy and efficient experience for them.”
The integration of scannable technology is growing, as a digital passport requirement for all garments sold in the E.U. is set to go into effect in 2026.
But on most resale platforms, like Vestiaire Collective, most items must still be manually uploaded, which can be time-consuming. What’s more, seller-provided data is not always accurate. In February, Vestiaire launched a partnership with EON and luxury brand Chloé to streamline the data uploading process for people reselling their Chloé items.
However, the scaling of such technologies is still limited, requiring cooperation from a resale platform, a technology provider and a brand to work. For its part, Depop, which attracts a younger demographic who may find it easier to adopt such technologies, does not yet offer digital product passport scanning, even as more brands launch resale through the platform.
For its older items that aren’t equipped with a digital passport, Pangaia is leveraging Archive capabilities that allow sellers to upload product details in a shorter process. Archive has created a unique process for Pangaia where newly uploaded resale items are cross-checked with its older inventory. With Pangaia’s resale service offered through its own e-commerce site via the Archive integration, the brand gets to own the related data as well as its own recommerce presence. That’s as opposed to exclusively relying on a third party. With brands considering more innovative ways of approaching brand-owned resale, product data is key.
Gittins noted that digital IDs aren’t necessary for recommerce, but they do speed up the selling process. When customers sell to other customers, technology can remove friction points that would typically fall on the brand. “We recommend that brands maintain all product data now, even if digital IDs aren’t embedded into their products,” she said. Such data includes product names, and available sizes and colors, as well as supply chain data on when and where items were made.
For brands, peer-to-peer platforms require less involvement than a brand-owned resale platform. And through efficient management and processing of inventory data through digital IDs, there is potential to cut operating costs for resale by as much as 70%, while also increasing inventory, said Natasha Franck, CEO and founder of EON. Along with resale, Pangaia has identified a number of use cases for its passports. Among them: rental services, repair programs, after-care solutions and a take-back scheme that channels non-sellable items into a network of recycling partners.
“Automation is essential to a thriving circular economy,” said Franck. “If we want resale to become business as usual, then we need to remove barriers for customers, and to offer more control, visibility and value to brands.”