Fast(er) fashion: The growth case for going slow
Temu is a Chinese marketplace that sells everything for (almost) nothing. Sunglasses for £1.79. Wireless headphones? £6.78. It has dominated social media this summer, with the hashtag #Temu clocking up 24.1 million views on TikTok. According to The Times, the ‘dirt-cheap’ prices are a result of “cutting out middlemen and exploiting tax loopholes both in China and the UK”. But caveat emptor. One X user tweeted their surprise when they ordered a brand-new pair of shoes from the app. Quality is hit-and-miss. And the financials don’t add up either. It’s estimated Temu is currently “losing between £450 million and £730 million a year”, based on estimates by analysts from China Merchants Securities. Thredup, from our Social & Economic Empowerment fund (C5KE), is Temu’s arch nemesis. The US-based second-hand clothing marketplace made $252 million in revenue in 2021 and, in the process, saved 137 million pieces of clothing from landfills. Sometimes, it pays to go slow. More on this story: The Times, thredUp impact report.