On Love and Reloved
I want to let you in on a secret that only those who have been with us since our beginnings have been privy to. You’re in our inner circle now, and you should know the truth. The company’s name used to be Relovd. Yes, a hyped-up techy startup version of the word “reloved” without the “e.” When we launched in beta with this name, everyone responded so positively to it. It elevated the concept of secondhand. It brought a cool, current feeling to the traditional exchange of the hand-me-down. The name said it all… That those on the platform were reloving clothes from others in our community. And they were loving doing it!
The name worked especially well for our company, based on the circularity of wearing and re-loving kids' clothes to others. Our kids’ clothes, in particular, are imbued with meaning and memory. They hold so much life in them. They are filled with love. The dress that your daughter wore to her first birthday party, your son’s first piano recital, the hockey pads he won his first game in... And those first walking shoes (just tear my heart out!).
Organic, fair trade tshirt. Photo credit: Tenth and Pine
When the concept for the company became solidified with its name, in 2018, there was little competition for the word. We got our Trademark, uncontested. Getting the Instagram account, and URL was easy. No google-search noise. Up until 2010, the only time Google saw frequency of the use of the word was during the financial crisis of 2007-2009. Check it out on the graph below. Cool!
Google graph showing intermittent spikes in the keyword "reloved" from 2005-10, and spike of over 200% in the last decade. The spike and steady rise of the word over the last decade is a clear indicator that consumers like you are changing their mindset into #secondhandfirst.
But all that changed when it became clear that so many other secondhand stores, platforms, and Instagram accounts had the same idea, too, within just months after we launched.
As resale skyrocketed, the number of instances that the word showed up in online searches from other companies was so high that we had to pivot. Everyone else wanted a sexier word for secondhand, too, and I didn’t want to compete.
It was inspiring, too. It reinforced that starting the company was on-trend. And the stats proved it. Resale is growing 21X the rate of fast-fashion. The industry is expected to reach $64B in the next few years, and more women are shopping secondhand than ever before.
In the last decade, the words reloved and preloved have given new meaning to what we traditionally called goods that were “secondhand” or, quite literally, “used.” In reality, they all mean the same thing. But while the words “secondhand” and “used” conjure up associations of grandma’s mothballs and musty thrift shops, this love-based terminology brings exciting new meaning and makes us desire goods that have been given a second life.
Girl in tutu. Photo credit: Milk Magazine.
Pretty remarkable for a made-up word!
With love reloved,