Spin & Give Founder Brittany Van Matre
From Depop to Poshmark to brick-and-mortar outposts like Wasteland, finding the coolest second-hand wardrobe pieces has become a breeze. But more than just about shopping for style, we shop second hand with the intent to reduce our impact on the environment. It’s also part of the mission of Spin & Give, an ecommerce consignment platform where parents can buy clothes for their kids. What’s more, a plethora of the brand-name items come from celebrity donors like Victoria Beckham, Reese Witherspoon and Sheryl Crow and a portion of the profits go toward charities that support women, children, the LGBTQ community and the environment. As we get ready to do some closet spring cleaning, we sat down with Spin & Give founder Brittany VanMarte to talk about the platform and the importance of fashion sustainability.
Can you tell us about the inception of Spin & Give?
It kind of starts in two parts really. When I had my son, I just really started to see how quickly and how fast children grow out of their clothes. And I've been working in production for 15-plus years, and I was lucky to take a break and be with my son for two years. Five of my best girlfriends, we all had boys at the same time. And it was just a common thing like, “Hey, you know, your son's a little bit older. Can you pass down the pajamas to me?”
With Eva Longoria— a really good friend of mine and I was her producing partner for five, six years and we've been friends for 28 years— she came to me at one point and we were sitting there looking at all the stuff that she receives from gifts to brands to her baby showers.
I had an experience where I bought my son a blazer for a photoshoot and I realized I’m spending so much money on this one adorable blazer for a family photoshoot he may only wear it a few times. And you know, what am I going to do with this? And I thought, oh, well to make up for the ungodly amount of money it cost, I'll resell it and get a commission. And when I was talking to Eva about that and we were sitting down looking through all the stuff she receives.
And it hit me. I was like, “Why don't we resell it? And instead of you making a commission, why don't we donate the proceeds to a charity that you choose?” And she was like, “That's genius. I'll just give you everything as he grows out of it.” And it started off where she was like, “Let me tell all my other celeb friends, industry leader friends. Then my father being a musician, I was like, “Let me reach out to him and his music friends,” or just people in the industry in general, like agents, musicians, CEOs and it just sort of turned into anybody really.
How did Spin & Give grow from there?
I started researching more about the fashion industry in general and what the issues are and the problems are based on our environment. And then I became super passionate about that part of it and it really turned into this passion project. I was like give me everything. I don't care if it has holes in it. I don't care if it's not name brand or high end or luxury. I want all moms to be able to shop online with us and feel like they're getting something at a good discount and that it's giving back to those in need. And so it really came at the realization that we all need to do better when it comes to sustainable fashion in general.
Can you tell us more about the importance of fashion sustainability and how that fuels Spin & Give?
I wanted to work on kids’ clothing living a longer life cycle because they grow out of it so quickly. It's like every three months, every six months, every nine months… they grow so quickly that I wanted to make sure that they have a second life and a third life and to keep them out of landfills. So then I decided to take toys, strollers, bassinets, anything you can think of and find a new purpose for all those things. Our main goal is to keep stuff out of landfills. That's the biggest issue right now is that these larger donation centers that we just dropped our stuff off and get rid of it and drive away, it started to feel bad for me and a little weird. Like where does it really go? I researched and only 10 to maybe 20% of it really gets sold within that organization and 80% of it gets sent overseas to landfills.
What are your future goals for Spin & Give?
The dream is definitely to include teens and adults. I think it's also generational too, the kids that are getting it now, or the Gen Z-ers, they're all about resale and how we're wasteful and are trying to do better for the planet. I think they're really catching on to it, so I want to expand it to young adults, probably to like 25 and then eventually men and women. So once this becomes majorly successful—which it will— and then we'll have to move into a larger facility.
It's surprising when I went to start collecting from the celebrities at first or some of the industry people, they were like, “When can you take my stuff? I have so much stuff.” I'm like, yeah, just give me some time. Give me time.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Photography by: Courtesy Icon PR/Brittany Van Matre