Brands and retailers alike have embraced the resale market, from fast fashion labels launching their own platforms to luxury houses setting their goals toward a more conscious future. Their common point? Using resale initiatives to boost their sustainability credentials - H&M being the latest to do so with a marketplace launching 7 September in Canada as reported by Bof. FashionUnited has gathered the 10 key figures you need to understand the current state of the resale fashion market.
Brooklyn-based company Etsy, which specialises in handmade and vintage items, bought British second-hand fashion resale app for $1.6 billion back in June. The sale highlights an ever-growing demand, putting the American company in the spotlight of Generation Z consumers - the ones leading the sales of second-hand items.
The total number of consumers who bought second-hand apparel for the first time in 2020. The pandemic confirmed a shift in the way people buy clothes and accessories alike: they’re now, more than ever, open to buying pre-owned items. The number of first-time buyers over the last year is testament to it.
Consumers turn to second-hand fashion for many different reasons, whether it be their personal style, budget or commitment to a more sustainable lifestyle. According to a joint report between Bain & Co. and Depop, 65 percent of users choose to buy pre-loved items for the prices, which are - usually - lower than the ones at retail stores.
However, in the same report by Bain & Co. and Depop, 75 percent of the users who were surveyed admitted that the main reason they shopped second-hand was to reduce general fashion consumption. It’s important to note that 90 percent of them were under 25, which highlights a growing awareness in the younger age groups.
The number of clothing items that were sold by retailers in resale shops in the course of the year 2020. Though it seems promising, the downside is that only 560k of all the garments were actually second-hand.
American second-hand online store ThreadUp conducted a report in partnership with market research firm GlobalData, which highlights the state of the resale market post-pandemic. It projected that it’s meant to double in the next five years, reaching a total of 77 billion dollar. Indeed, 188 million consumers have tried reselling for the first time in 2021, compared to 36.2 million in 2020.
The same report by ThreadUp put forward the fact that the resale fashion market is currently growing at a rate that’s 11 times faster than traditional retail. It should be worth 84 billion dollar by 2030, while fast fashion is predicted to be worth about 40 billion dollar. The next decade will therefore see the second-hand market grow much faster than traditional retail, as it’s supposed to be twice the size of fast fashion by 2030.
5 to 7%
Business of Fashion explained in one of its Insights reports that only 5 to 7 percent of resaleable fashion is sold and bought on resale platforms at the moment. It means that there’s an estimated 2.1 trillion dollar of fashion items currently sitting in wardrobes that are not being used.
ThreadUp’s report showcased that 60 percent of the retailers surveyed have or are now open to offering a range of second-hand items to their customers. While consumers seem more and more appealed to previously-owned items, retailers are also more interested in taking part in positive change for the future.
Finally, let’s not forget about another major positive impact: consumers reduce their carbon footprint by 82 percent when they buy used items instead of new ones.