Here’s What The World’s Most Innovative Brands Are Working On Right Now
What global brands like Eddie Bauer, Levi's, and IKEA are doing to hit the ground running in 2022 and win.
I am the CEO and Co-Founder of Arrive and this is the first post of many where I plan to share my perspective of building our company. We built Arrive to be a leader in the circular economy by helping some of the world’s most innovative brands and retailers launch rental and resale. A few years ago, this type of business model was seen as a superfluous or a nice thing for marketing to tout around some lofty corporate sustainability goal. Today, offering a circular model is essential for most businesses to stay relevant, attract customers and earn more revenue. I’m excited to share with you what we’ve learned along the way (and the questions we still have unanswered) as we build the next major commerce channels.
It’s no surprise that the shift to circular commerce has been driven by a change in consumer behavior — Greta Thunberg is a cultural icon at this point and she’s leading Gen Z to shake world leaders into seeing the realities that we face around climate change. With more and more people conscious of how their behavior has an impact on the planet, the desire to buy, own the latest and greatest, or engage in fast fashion is now frowned upon and even ripe for shame. Instead, people are looking for alternatives to ownership (like rental), they want to find products that don’t require new resource extraction (like used products for resale), and they want to purchase higher quality goods.
I saw a Levi’s commercial the other day and their message was to “Buy Better, Wear Longer”. We all know the Patagonia ad for “Don’t Buy This Jacket”, but this was the first time in a long time I’ve seen a major legacy brand take a stand in encouraging people to not buy more. To me, this signals a major shift in the market that directly reflects the sentiments consumers have for sustainability.
The most innovative retailers are responding to this change in the market. They’re realizing that circular commerce, which encompasses both rental and resale, is not only having a moment, but is becoming the norm. Eddie Bauer launched their rental channel earlier this year (powered by Arrive), Rent the Runway and The Real Real recently went public, and IKEA just announced an expanded resale initiative. These companies are paving the path for the next century of consumerism where consumption looks very different than the last 100 years.
Even with market data exaggeratedly pointing at what to do, sometimes a major crisis is what pushes an idea over the edge in the now remote boardroom. This upcoming holiday season has been marked by the dreaded supply chain crisis. Consumers have been eerily warned to buy early and retailers are paying exorbitant prices to get their goods off of ships and onto theoretical ecommerce shelves. As the realities of overconsumption are becoming a literal wrench in the machine, more and more companies are looking to other models to earn revenue and engage with consumers, and I believe that they’re mainly looking at rental & resale.
The idea of circular commerce is one thing but executing on it is another. For retailers or brands to launch a circular channel in-house can be complex, costly and time-intensive. We’ve been building our company for five years and spent the last two years speaking with brands and retailers to understand what they’d need support with to launch a circular commerce offering. The results of these conversations are what make up The Arrive Platform. We build and manage circular experiences — rental and resale — for the world’s most innovative companies to help their consumers experience more and own better.
Arrive has been deemed a leader in the industry and we run our own award-winning rental experience, Arrive Outdoors. We’ve gone from our scrappy days of launching in our literal garage (👋 Jeff Bezos) to raising nearly $9M in venture capital from funds like Freestyle Capital, Animo Ventures, Science Inc. and Banana Capital (listen to me share our origin story with Zillow Co-Founder, Spencer Rascoff). I firmly believe that circular commerce is the way of the future and by bringing rental and resale to nearly any industry, Arrive is leading this gargantuan shift. These are early days, and we’re just getting started. I look forward to sharing our journey along the way.