The RealReal Launches Sustainability Calculator on National Consignment Day

The RealReal, as announced the launch of its Sustainability Calculator for consignment in acknowledgment of National Consignment Day on Oct. 1, 2018. The objective of the calculator was to create a sound, science-based, tool to quantify the positive impact of consignment on the planet.  This first generation calculator focused solely on women’s apparel.  The initial calculation measured the impact of 2.5 million women’s clothing items consigned to The RealReal. The results showed the company has offset 65 million car miles in greenhouse gasses and energy since 2012.   

“Consigning is good for the environment, and I am thrilled we have developed a valid and quantifiable way for our customers to measure the positive impact their consignment has on the planet. It takes my breath away that people consigning apparel alone have made such a tremendous impact — the equivalent of 340,000 trees planted,” states Founder Julie Wainwright.

The RealReal worked with the San Francisco-based environmental consultancy Shift Advantage* and a team of advisors including expert Michael Sadowski, and representatives from World Resource Institute, and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to develop the methodology quantifying greenhouse gas (GHG), energy and water saved from women’s clothing items consigned.

The Methodology:  

These four areas were quantified and taken into consideration for the overall positive environmental impact of recirculating/consigning apparel:

Impact by Material: Energy, GHG and water consumption by material type estimates were commissioned as The RealReal does not own the manufacturing process of its goods.

Item Archetypes: The most common women’s clothing types were used to develop four archetypes for calculation: dresses, tops, jackets and knitwear.

Fabric Composites: The RealReal defragmented the inventory mix into the most common item-fabric combinations (i.e silk, cotton, polyester, viscose, wool and linen).

Product Type Composites:  Since every item consigned is unique, The RealReal used sample weights to develop average weight measures for each archetype fabrication group.

For more information on the sustainability calculator and how to participate in National Consignment Day visit:

*The base fabric assumptions and measurements for energy, GHG and water used to produce each garment were developed by and are intellectual property of Shift Advantage, corporate social responsibility and sustainability consulting firm.


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