With the success of online sales platforms between individuals, like Vinted or Leboncoin, the Emmaüs association sees its model threatened. With the help of a campaign, she appeals to the generosity of the French.
Donating your used clothes when you can still make a little money: the concept is becoming less and less attractive. This is what Emmaüs has noticed, as it is facing a drop in the quality of the donations it receives. The association, which helps 70,000 people in France, launched an awareness campaign on Thursday March 17 with the aim of pushing the French to empty their closets, thinking first and foremost about donating, rather than reselling clothes or objects. that they no longer use. To do this, she hijacked the baseline now well known on the Vinted private sales platform “You don’t wear it anymore? Sell it!” in: “You don’t wear it, give it away”. She also posted fake ads under the Emma-Us handle, with pieces that aren’t actually for sale, in an attempt to create a buzz among users.
Under the association’s Instagram post, which relays its advertising campaign, the reactions are mixed, with some claiming their rights to do what they want with their business. Others say they called Emmaus to give them clothes, an offer they refused because they “already had too many clothes”. More generally, users regret the opposition made between the associative movement and the sales platforms, arguing that the two can be perfectly balanced. Another point raised lies in the prices charged by Emmaüs, sometimes higher than those of Vinted, for the same items, when they are “supposed to help”. It would therefore not only be the donors who would turn to the platforms, the customers too.
Drop in quality of donations
Understanding the scope and impact of these platforms on the economic model of associations means first of all understanding that after the sorting, maintenance and restoration of objects, only 40% of the 320,000 tonnes of annual waste are condition to be sold. This figure was 60% previously. Valérie Fayard, deputy general manager of the Emmaüs association, asserts that today, people no longer come to make donations, they come to get rid of objects that they have not been able to sell. A change of intention which induces a degrading product quality. Valérie Fayard specifies that the goal here is not to make users feel guilty, but to create an electric shock, or at least to encourage reflection.
The campaign takes place in a fragile economic context. At the same time, the number of members of second-hand platforms continues to increase. Vinted now has 23 million users, with France representing the app’s largest market. The French site Leboncoin has 29 million monthly visitors. Figures that climb each year showing that the second-hand market is still growing, at the risk of stifling the gift market.
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