Net-a-porter Plans to Make Its Products Traceable

BUY NOW, WEAR FOREVER: Net-a-porter is investing further into sustainability, to help shift consumer habits and encourage its new “buy now, wear forever” mantra.

As part of its effort, the retailer is piloting a new Digital ID program that will enable customers to learn about the provenance and design of their products through QR codes, as well as access information about where and how to recycle and repair them.

The technology, developed in partnership with Eon, will be integrated into a selection of shoes by Porte & Paire, a label that was developed and brought to market by Net. The aim is to then embed the technology into a wider selection of Porte & Paire products and offer more resale and recycling options, to encourage circular consumption.

“Our hope is to provide customers an opportunity to engage with their products in an even deeper way and eventually be able to keep track of an item’s history throughout its life as the pilot rolls out further: Where it’s come from, how to care for it, and consider where it might go next, for example through connection to recycling and re-commerce opportunities in the future,” said Lea Cranfield, the retailer’s chief buying and merchandising officer, luxury and fashion.

Cranfield, who joined the group at the end of 2020 succeeding Elizabeth von der Goltz, is also focused on developing the company’s Net Sustain offer, which started in June 2019 with 26 fashion brands and has grown to include more than 500 fashion and beauty labels — a 500 percent increase.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen our customers’ desire to shop with sustainability considerations in mind increasing, with our customer insight surveys showing this played a role in purchase decisions for four out of five Net-a-porter customers. Long-lasting quality, versatility and craftsmanship were considered fundamental purchase drivers,” added Cranfield, pointing to new names like Caes, Sindiso Khumalo and Deiji Studio, which will be joining the Net Sustain offer. “In a climate where, as consumers and as a buying team, we are considering how every purchase we make can remain relevant to how we dress over the long term, ‘buy now, wear forever’ is the mainstay of our buying strategy.”

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