Chief Operating Officer
COO for a rapidly growing sustainable fashion start-up
If you haven’t come across Thrift+ before… we’re on a mission to prevent fashion waste, by creating the best place to sell, and to shop, second-hand clothes. Our ambition is to bring the circular economy for fashion to the mainstream and tackle one of the biggest environmental pollutants: the creation and destruction of clothing, which currently accounts for ~10% of global emissions.
Our unique ‘ThriftBag’ service means that all you have to do to find your unwanted clothing a new home is send it to us - we then sort, process, photograph and list your items, marketing them to our large and growing audience on our own website as well on other platforms like eBay. Once your item sells you earn credits which can be donated to your favourite charity, spent on second-hand fashion, or redeemed as gift vouchers.
For buyers, we remove the uncertainty around shopping second hand, giving you an eCommerc- like experience with a large, quality-assured range, fast shipping, 30 day returns, and customer service.
In our first few years, we’ve extended the life of 350,000 items of clothing, raised over £1.6 million for charity, and built a thriving warehouse operation which processes tens of thousands of items of clothing every month. We are the resale partner to major fashion brands from FARFETCH to Fat Face, and recently won the Drapers sustainable fashion award for recommerce, beating others including eBay.
We recently closed a funding round with venture partners who are as passionate about building a tech driven, for-profit, business that does good for the environment as we are.
We are looking for a dynamic and proven COO to partner closely with the Founder CEO in order to support and drive the continued rapid growth of Thrift+. As well as being a true thought partner, helping to develop the medium & long term strategy, this role will have primary responsibility to translate the strategic plan into executable roadmaps and tactics and build the internal operating system that ensures high quality delivery into results. The areas of direct responsibility can vary depending on the background of the candidates but may include customer support, warehouse operations, finance and people management as well as the broader remit of leading and developing people, processes and performance across the business.
The successful candidate should have relevant proven experience in a scale-up consumer business, ideally within a two sided managed marketplace or another eCommerce business with high operational intensity. You will have demonstrated success in creating and executing strategic plans with a well-aligned team; coordinating resources across organisations; building scalable systems and processes; and supporting the delivery of ambitious revenue targets as early stage businesses scale.
You will be responsible for developing and executing the new organisation, business plan and operational foundation for Thrift+’s future growth, in partnership with your colleagues. You will drive alignment across operational teams and attain firm buy-in from the entire organisation to objectives, methods and performance expectations. Your role will be to constantly raise the bar, accelerate every aspect of delivery and stretch the performance potential of the organisation.
As COO, you will provide energy and leadership to ensure that the Thrift + vision, strategy and commercial aims are clearly and simply defined, communicated and delivered across the business. You will develop a world-class end-to-end customer experience, nurture a customer-first mindset and seamlessly step change our service levels for sellers and buyers alike as we grow.
Working closely with our CEO and Board, you will help ensure we are able to continue working at a fast pace and with the right level of oversight, process and support to continue the rapid scaling of our business. You will:
- Rapidly understand the dynamics of the business, where it has come from, its culture, present strategy and investor expectations.
- Work with the CEO to develop business strategy, manage the strategic planning process and continually refine the operating system of the business to ensure strong translation of strategy into results, including leading the execution and delivery of OKRs.
- Own the operating plan/ roadmap and oversee the development of the business operating model.
- Maintain and innovate around the people, reward and incentive strategy that meets the needs of an international high performance culture.
- Embed a culture of continuous improvement, performance management and customer focus in order to better serve our community of buyers, sellers & brands.
- Develop, champion and deliver major change programmes and lead the operational rollout that may be required to deliver on strategic growth opportunities.
- Drive engagement, motivation and delivery of results through people.
- Set, monitor and develop KPIs and goals for day-to-day operations of 100+ people.
- Demonstrate a strong passion for the brand and values, using this and other tools to ensure that the business attracts and retains the very best talent and is an ‘employer of choice.’
- Act as a role model for our company values.
- Be the guardian of our unique culture and strive to make it even stronger.
- Outstanding leadership, energetic and impactful. The COO will be skilled at helping build, enthusing and motivating a high performing team.
- Experience in a leadership position of a high-growth online consumer business. Marketplace experience or similar desirable but not essential.
- Commercial acumen coupled with a passion for ‘the customer’ and a relentless drive for results.
- Unequivocal credentials as an operational business builder who combines strong change management skills with a track record of improving operational efficiencies
- Engaging and empathetic. A high level of cultural and emotional intelligence. The ability to influence successfully within a commercial environment
- Entrepreneurial and visionary with the ability to bring about change while maintaining the brand equity, strong values and ethos of the business
- A robust approach with a down to earth, ‘sleeves rolled up’, and hard-working style. Tough operationally; resilient.
- Outstanding communication and influencing skills; an inspiring communicator, able to engage and motivate.
- A genuine strategic thinker who can operationalise strategy into excellent day-to-day business performance.
- Excels at implementation and is driven by delivery. Energetic, enthusiastic, low ego and pragmatic.
- Exceptional people skills with an engaging style and sense of humour. Driven, focused and ambitious for the business.
- Never satisfied with the status quo; consistently motivating teams to deliver superior business outcomes and customer experience.
- A natural team-leader with the organisational abilities and personal charisma to attract, develop and motivate high quality employees across all levels of the business.
- Financially astute and profits/achievement driven with demonstrable commercial acumen, operational delivery and constant attention to detail.
- An open individual with high integrity and a strong commitment to organisational and ethical values.
- Passionate about having a positive impact on our environment through your work.
Other key details
- Competitive salary
- Generous options grant
- Full-time employed
- Private health insurance
- 33 days holiday
- Location - flexible working policy with significant time at London HQ & Market Harborough warehouse
At Thrift, we want to work alongside people of all backgrounds because we understand the power and importance of diversity. Equal opportunity, inclusivity and diversity are celebrated here. This means we treat people fairly, regardless of age, disability, gender identity or expression, pregnancy and maternity, marital status, race, religion or sexual orientation