The global secondhand market is undergoing a remarkable transformation, poised for extraordinary growth. By 2027, it is projected to nearly double in value, reaching a substantial $350 billion. This expansion is expected to outpace the entire global apparel market by a factor of three.
Consumers’ attitudes toward secondhand fashion have shifted significantly. In 2022, 52% of consumers actively engaged in secondhand clothing shopping, with an astonishing 75% demonstrating openness to the idea. Staggering 83% of Generation Z (Gen Z) individuals have either shopped for secondhand fashion or expressed a willingness to do so. As younger generations gain economic influence, they are anticipated to drive a significant share of the growing secondhand market.
Sustainability is at the forefront of this market’s rapid ascent. Gen Z, in particular, is driving this trend, with 47% refusing to buy from non-sustainable apparel brands—an impressive 11-point increase from 2021. Moreover, 56% of Gen Z and Millennials prioritize unique styles over following fleeting fashion trends, signifying a pronounced shift in consumer preferences.
Gen Z and Millennials are embracing climate-conscious consumerism, with 58% believing their closets contribute to climate change. These environmentally conscious individuals are motivated to reduce their carbon footprint, with 63% actively pursuing this goal. 61% of Gen Z and Millennials identify as eco-conscious or sustainability-focused, exceeding the broader consumer base.
In this evolving landscape, brands are adapting to meet the demands of sustainability-minded consumers. Several major brands have ventured into the resale market, offering innovative solutions for extending the lifecycle of apparel. Specialized designer resale platforms cater to those with a taste for luxury fashion, providing a curated experience in the secondhand market. As the secondhand market continues to thrive and sustainability remains a driving force, it is poised to play an increasingly significant role in the fashion industry’s future.
|Consumer Shift Towards Secondhand
|In 2022, 52% of consumers actively engaged in secondhand clothing shopping 75% of consumers are open to the idea of secondhand fashion 83% of Generation Z (Gen Z) individuals have shopped for or are willing to shop for secondhand fashion.
|Sustainability Driving the Trend
|Luxury fashion enthusiasts have curated options. Vestiaire Collective with authenticity verification processes.By Rotation pioneers social fashion rental.HURR combines rental and resale functions.HEWI London operates like eBay for designer goods.
|Brands Embracing Resale
|Major brands are entering the resale market to extend the lifecycle of apparel. Torrid partners with thredUP for its Clean Out program. Lululemon’s “Like New” program reduces waste.ZARA offers pre-owned items for buying and selling.thredUP focuses on accessible secondhand shopping and selling.
|Designer Resale Sites
|In 2022, 52% of consumers actively engaged in secondhand clothing shopping 75% of consumers are open to the idea of secondhand fashion.83% of Generation Z (Gen Z) individuals have shopped for or are willing to shop for secondhand fashion.
Resale Initiatives by Top Brands
Several prominent brands have entered the resale space to tap into this burgeoning market:
Torrid‘s Clean Out program with thredUP
Torrid, a direct-to-consumer brand catering to curvy women, has partnered with thredUP for its Clean Out program, making it the first plus-size brand to leverage thredUP’s Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS).
Lululemon‘s ‘Like New’ Program
Lululemon’s “Like New” program aims to reduce waste by allowing customers to trade in gently used items for store credit. These items are refurbished to “like new” standards and resold on the brand’s website.
ZARA offers customers the opportunity to extend the life of their garments by buying and selling pre-owned items.
THREDUP, World’s Largest Resale Platform
As one of the world’s largest resale platforms, thredUP focuses on making secondhand shopping and selling accessible. Their mission is to inspire a new generation of consumers to prioritize secondhand items.
Designer Resale Sites
For those with a penchant for luxury fashion, designer resale sites provide a curated experience:
Vestiaire Collective: Known for its authenticity verification processes and a vast online fashion community, Vestiaire Collective offers a wide selection of pre-owned luxury items.
By Rotation: By Rotation pioneers social fashion rental, allowing users to share their designer wardrobes within a community of sharers, fostering sustainability.
HURR: HURR, a rental platform with a focus on ethics, now offers a re-sale function, allowing users to buy items they’ve rented and loved.
HEWI London: HEWI London operates like an eBay for new or barely worn pre-owned designer goods, offering options for both buyers and sellers, including a VIP service for hassle-free selling.
The global secondhand market’s rapid growth and sustainability-driven motivations have reshaped consumer behavior. With key players embracing the resale trend and designer resale sites catering to luxury enthusiasts, the secondhand market is not only booming but also contributing to a more sustainable and eco-conscious fashion industry. As this market continues to evolve, brands and consumers alike are recognizing the value of secondhand fashion, making it a prominent fixture in the fashion landscape of the future.