Peeling Back the Layers: A Discussion About Sustainability with FASHIONPHILE’s Head of Impact

Studio image of stella mccartney bag and telfar shopping tote FASHIONPHILE

With luxury resale booming in popularity, many are turning to pre-owned luxury items as a more sustainable alternative to buying new.


FASHIONPHILE, the leading online marketplace for buying and selling pre-owned luxury goods, has been at the forefront of this movement as consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of their purchasing habits. We spoke with FASHIONPHILE’s Head of Impact, Nora Cummings, about the company’s sustainability initiatives, including why sustainability is important, circularity and our partnership with Neiman Marcus, and some sustainable milestones FASHIONPHILE has achieved over the years. The following is a summary of the topics discussed.

Click this link to watch the full discussion

Sustainability, Defined

When you hear “sustainability,” you probably are not immediately taken aback by the term. We get it. The word “sustainability” is often overused, to the point now where it has almost lost its impact, especially given the prevalence of greenwashing. Greenwashing can take many forms, such as using vague or misleading language in order to make products or practices appear more environmentally friendly than they actually are. 

So, while the term “sustainability” may not initially strike you as particularly noteworthy, it’s important to remember what it actually means. According to our Head of Impact, Nora Cummings, one way to look at sustainability is to see it as the practice of ensuring economic, social, and environmental equilibrium. Personally, Cummings states that sustainability reminds her to seek balance in all aspects of life, both personal and professional. When you give, you receive. Environmentally speaking, “it’s about meeting our needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs,” Cummings says. 

What is circularity?

If sustainability ensures economic, social, and environmental equilibrium, then you may wonder if circularity is the same as sustainability. They’re closely linked, but circularity is not the same as sustainability. Circularity is a part of sustainability but focuses on resource cycles. When it comes to circularity at FASHIONPHILE, at its core, it means seeing items for the value they bring beyond their end point of sale. 

Since 2019, FASHIONPHILE’s partnership with Neiman Marcus has enabled us to extend the useful life of thousands upon thousands of luxury goods. What Cummings particularly loves about circularity is that “nothing is lost; everything is transformed.” This is the adopted motto of the circular movement. Everything is here and can be repurposed, reused, recycled, etc. It’s just a matter of getting the right systems in place. Learn more about the R’s of the circular economy here. 

FASHIONPHILE’s Sustainable Milestones 

Sustainability has been our mission and our value since day one. Part of Nora Cummings’ influence is identifying business practices that support and improve environmental and social sustainability for FASHIONPHILE. We have partnered with ACT, the American Circular Textiles group and other notable resellers and retailers in the fashion industry to push for legislation to reduce the amount of discarded clothing, shoes, and other items that may otherwise end up in a landfill or incinerated. 

We’ve also gone solar, which has allowed FASHIONPHILE to save countless gas emissions from being released into the air. Since installation, FASHIONPHILE has prevented approximately 230 lbs of CO2 emissions in the air to date. Our team regularly monitors GHG emissions following EPA compliance standards, and there are composting bins throughout FASHIONPHILE’s facilities. When you receive a FASHIONPHILE package (nothing beats that feeling), you can also feel good about it because they’re 30% recyclable and are on track to be 100% recyclable with FSG recycling stamps. Better yet, reuse those boxes when it comes time to sell with us.  

FASHIONPHILE has been leading the trend of pre-owned luxury goods since 1999. This discussion with FASHIONPHILE’s Head of Impact, Nora Cummings, sheds light on FASHIONPHILE’s commitment to sustainability, the importance of circularity in the fashion industry, and notable milestones that the company has achieved over the years.

This is just the beginning. Through these initiatives, FASHIONPHILE is proving that luxury and sustainability go hand in hand. Learn more about our sustainability journey here.
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