"If you don't wear it, give it away." The Emmaüs association hijacks Vinted's slogan, "You don't wear it anymore? Sell it." Faced with a decline in the quality of donations made to it, the organization, which comes to the aid of 70,000 people in France, launched an advertising campaign to encourage citizens to empty their cupboards, by first doing proof of generosity.
“The market has turned around for a few years,” regrets Valérie Fayard, deputy general manager of the Emmaüs association. The French have discovered online sites selling second-hand goods, including Vinted and Leboncoin, to get rid of items they no longer use and profit from them. Now, thanks to its campaigns, Vinted has 23 million followers in France, its largest market in the world. Leboncoin, a subsidiary of the Norwegian group Adevinta, listed in Oslo, claims 29 million monthly users.
By force, these players in the online sale of second-hand products overshadow the Emmaüs association, whose 500 sales rooms of donated objects provide it with 300 million euros in revenue. "The quality of the products is deteriorating," laments the deputy general manager. Now, only 40% of the 320,000 tons of objects donated each year (furniture, crockery, clothing and other household appliances) are suitable for sale, "compared to 60% previously", estimates Ms. Fayard. This is particularly the case in the clothing departments, the first category of products sold at Emmaüs ahead of furniture. "In France, all the resource centers are faced with this problem," she says.
Create "an electroshock"
Today, the French first seek to sell these objects. And failing to find buyers, especially online, they "get rid of them at Emmaüs", observes Ms. Fayard. From then on, the volunteers and companions of the association must "mix and sort more volumes" to achieve a similar turnover. With this advertising campaign designed by Havas Paris and the Agence Verte - and broadcast on television and on posters, in media spaces that have been granted to it free of charge - the association hopes to create "an electric shock" and "to make become aware of the impact of this behavior supposed to be part of a circular economy".
"Yes, we can do other than sell on these platforms", judge Valérie Fayard, activist of the social and solidarity economy. To "create the buzz", the association publishes fake advertisements on Vinted and Leboncoin, hoping to reach the followers of these online thrift stores. The campaign will also be relayed on social networks, in particular through influencer accounts, in order to reach a young audience.
Indeed, deplores the Deputy Director General of Emmaüs, the association created by Abbé Pierre in 1949 to fight against exclusion and poverty suffers from a lack of notoriety among the younger generations. Precisely those who were the first to convert to the online purchase and sale of second-hand products and convinced their parents of the financial virtues of this circuit.