Is pre-loved luxury the new way forward?

4 Mins read

Second-hand items have become increasingly popular throughout the years, but recently there has been a rise in second-hand luxury online platforms and shops, often dubbed as ‘pre-loved’, which sell bags, clothing and ready-to-wear fashion from the top brands at a more affordable price point.

Luxury Promise sells pre-loved luxury bags, shoes, clothing and accessories from top brands to all over the globe. It was created in 2017 as an exclusive online platform, but has proven to be very successful and is now an online and in-store platform which caters to people for their pre-loved luxury purposes. The store was created in June 2020 and is located on Bond Street in central London. 

The company was founded by Sabrina Sadiq, 35, who has been in the luxury industry for years, starting off in authenticating goods. She left university after completing a law degree and wanted to treat herself to nice designer bags, which she couldn’t buy at full price.

“When I was a lawyer I bought a vintage Hermes Kelly and met a client after, she wanted to buy it off me for double the price I just paid. That’s when I knew there was something in this.” 

Then Sabrina spent a few years travelling the world creating a network of professional sellers and authenticators, this is where it all started with authenticating luxury goods and having an understanding of how the whole industry works.

Sabrina then set up her own brand to show her competitors how to price a bag as well as understand how to verify the authenticity of designer goods. She was known in the industry as the woman who could always spot a fake bag. This is what inspired her to start Luxury Promise, a unique brand that sells second-hand luxury.

An image of Luxury Promise's shop floor.

Luxury Promise shop floor

Luxury Promise works with items being sourced from around the world by different sellers, from many countries including Cambodia and Malaysia. The sellers exclusively pick Luxury Promise to sell to as they resonate with their core values and they personally prefer how the brand operates.

With typical consignment stores, the process will start with the store authenticating the item and then selling it. After it is sold, the seller will get paid. Whereas with Luxury Promise the seller can decide to be paid straight away after the item is authenticated.

Sabrina explained what the niche is in Luxury Promise’s products: “We mainly sell Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton. However, our niche is a diverse product offering and giving the luxury experience back with customer service.

“Although we live in a digital era, we still need human connection, so we do that in every way we market, all the business is organic. We are unique and different, we are the women we sell to. When you watch our stories you will see that we actually love the products.”

During our conversation, I mentioned that I had seen an influencer, Molly-Mae Hague, buying a Chanel beach bag from their business. Sabrina seemed happy that I’d seen her business from another source, as Luxury Promise believes in organic business and they won’t do paid deals because this will no longer be organic; they prefer the business to be spread through word-of-mouth and customer reviews.

Sabrina posts the content of new items in stock on Instagram with detailed stories and posts that provide as much detail as possible. These show the item and outline all the faults to show the customer what they will be getting organically. The members of staff at Luxury Promise also take part in creating content because they decided to be a brand that would be very active on social media.

Luxury Promise prides itself on being sustainable since they see this as something that all brands should be doing without prompt. 

“Sustainability is a part of our DNA and it fits in with the times. We are the brand that is being diverse with all walks of life, all cultures and all dynamics but still has the sustainable product. So we are exactly what the consumers need, it is a part of our core but it should be how all brands operate anyway in today’s day and age.”

[pullquote align=”right”]“When you watch our stories you will see that we actually love the products.”[/pullquote]This brand has grown by seven times since the Covid-19 pandemic hit and has gone from having 50 items in stock a month to over 1,000 each month, which is a huge increase.

“Building a brand is all about learning every day and providing excellent customer service, as we’re scaling so fast from customer reviews and people sharing their experience,” Sabrina said. They offer products that aren’t contributing to the environmental problems but that still has its longevity and heritage.

The debate about pre-loved items is whether people buy them for the cheaper price point, for sustainability purposes, or to find a rare item. The key for Luxury Promise is that people shop to be kinder to the environment, although many people will have other ideas. 

Andra Dorolti is a blogger and lives in Manchester, she has a strict rule of ‘no fast fashion’ and portrays this in her YouTube videos and Instagram bios. “I always remember buying second-hand items from charity shops and since I have progressed to online shops, I prefer second-hand items that ‘have a story’ and since I have a degree in fashion and worked in this fast fashion industry, it hurts to see how much this is damaging the environment.”

Katherine Williams is a blogger and has created content to encourage people to buy pre-loved goods. In a YouTube video she expressed her top reasons as to why she prefers to shop pre-loved. Katherine’s personal reasons are tailored to wanting to find rare pieces as well as sustainability. As she said in her YouTube video, “Second-hand goods lead to a second life.”

According to business magazine Marketing Week, a third of consumers are buying more second-hand items than they previously were 12 months ago. Regardless of the reason for buying the item, as many people have their own reasons, it is still helping to tackle to the global problem of sustainability in fashion.





Featured image by Lucy Engstrom.
Edited by: Darnell Christie and Natalia Zmarzlik.

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