ThredUp CEO: '2021 will great year for apparel retailers' after IPO success

ThredUp lost $47.9M in the year ended December 2020

ThredUp has cashed in on the consignment business.

The stock soared, with its initial public offering debut rising over 42% after pricing 12 million shares at $14 per share, the high end of the $12-$14 range. Shares trade on the Nasdaq Marketsite under the symbol TDUP.

"It feels really good, a culmination of a lot of hard work," CEO James Rhinehart told FOX Business. "2021 is going to be a great year for apparel retailers as people get the vaccine and get out in the world" he predicts.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TDUP THREDUP INC. 14.98 -0.41 -2.66%

FOX Business has some fast facts on the company that built a thriving business on second-hand clothing.

About ThredUp

ThredUp notes it is the world’s largest fashion resale platform that focuses on sustainable women’s and kids' fashion and made its mark by "making it easy to buy and sell secondhand"

Founder and CEO James Rheinhart 

Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for TechCrunch

As the company prepared for its IPO, founder and CEO James Rheinhart told potential investors how the company came about and where it's going.

"I came up with the idea for thredUP in 2009 after staring at a closet full of clothes that I didn’t want to wear anymore," he said in a letter included in the company's SEC filing. "I knew there was value locked up in those clothes and I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. Looking back on that moment, I certainly didn’t appreciate how that insight could eventually UPend innovation in retail, the apparel industry and our environment.

COVID-19 double-edged sword

COVID-19 was a blessing and a curse for ThredUp, as it boosted businesses but processing times for bags submitted were severely delayed.

"We have also experienced significant growth in the number of buyers and sellers using our platform in certain periods, despite a reduction in Active Sellers during 2020 and growth rates that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," the company disclosed in its SEC filing.

Still, the company is expanding and hiring.

"Our headcount has grown from 1,076 employees and professional contractors as of December 31, 2018 to 1,862 as of December 31, 2020, as we have scaled our business," it noted.

Responsible resale clothing movement 

The company claims the “fashion industry is one of the most environmentally damaging sectors in the global economy" and it wants to change that narrative.

To date, the company says it has displaced 1 billion pounds of CO2e through its buy-and-sell secondhand marketplace. ThredUP’s “custom-built operating platform” gives it the ability to process more than 100,000 unique items per day. ThredUp is working with 35,000 brands at up to 90% estimated retail price. Collectively, buyers have saved $3.3 billion off estimated retail price, according to the company.

FOX Business' Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.