The second-hand fashion market is expected to more than double the size of fast fashion by 2030

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The $ 36 billion second-hand market is expected to double over the next 5 years to reach $ 77 billion, says ThredUp in its Resale report 2021. The Oakland, Calif.-Based resale company says in its new annual study – which surveyed 3,500 American adults between March and April 2021 – that “as it becomes easier to sell clothes online, more in addition to consumers emptying their cupboards ”. 36.2 million customers sold second-hand clothing online for the first time in 2020, joining a larger pool of 52.6 million people who sold second-hand clothing during the year. And based on those numbers, ThredUp says there’s still plenty of room for growth, with 118.8 million more people saying they’ve never resold clothes online but are ” open to try it “.

With an estimated 9 billion “barely worn or inactive” clothes in consumer closets in the United States in 2020, online savings have become “a new pandemic habit” as consumers not only sold clothes online, but a significant number – 33 million to be exact – bought second-hand clothing online for the first time in 2020. Barely a trend specific to COVID, ThredUp expects second-hand clothing consumption to increase as a result of the pandemic, because “first-time buyers plan to increase their second-hand spending over the next 5 years,” resulting in a 5.4-fold larger increase over the next 5 years.

In addition to the increase in resale space, ThredUp highlights the growth of second-hand consumption relative to rapid fashion, noting that from 2020 second-hand clothing was already growing faster in terms of market share than their fast fashion counterparts. “The fast fashion market share is expected to remain roughly stable over the next 10 years,” at around 9%, while the second-hand clothing segment is expected to reach 18% by 2030, double the level of fast fashion. Meanwhile, low-cost retailers, such as Marshalls and TJ Maxx, are expected to take 19% of the apparel market by 2030, and subscription-based clothing services, direct-selling brands and fashion division. ‘Amazon is also expected to advance over this same period.

Specifically address the transition from fast fashion to second-hand fashion, a market that should be twice as large as fast fashion by 2030, The ThredUp report reveals that nearly 2 in 5 consumers who already buy second-hand clothes say they are “replacing fast fashion shopping with second-hand clothes.” which can be helped by the fact that 1 in 4 say they “care less about wearing the latest trends than [they did] before the pandemic ”and 1 in 2 say that“ saving money on clothes is now their top priority ”.

As for the role that Gen Z consumers play in the overall growth of the resale segment, ThredUp argues that this younger generation simply has “more circular fashion habits” than the older generations. For example, Gen Z consumers are 165% more likely than their baby boom counterparts to “consider the resale value of clothes before they buy them,” which luxury resale sites like The RealReal reported in the past about handbags and other goods. They are also 83% more likely to view clothing ownership as “temporary” and, therefore, subject to multiple changes of ownership in pursuit of the larger sharing economy.

In one of its most striking observations, the resale giant’s report states that over the next 5 years, consumers should prioritize second-hand clothes over new clothes marketed as “sustainable.” . With that in mind, 42% of consumers say they plan to spend more on second-hand clothing compared to the 26% who plan to spend more on new ‘sustainable’ products, as well as those marketed as’ inclusive ‘and’ transparent ”, which is 40% less than in 2019. This interesting change is probably a reflection of the difference in cost between second-hand clothes and“ durable ”items, the latter tending to be a bit more expensive. .

Beyond that, it’s probably also a response to the growing consumer awareness of the pervasive greenwashing that has been (and continues to be) carried out by brands as a marketing gimmick. At the same time, the move away from ‘sustainable’ marketing almost certainly stems from the overuse of buzzwords like ‘sustainability’, which have confused consumers as to what these terms actually mean and if there is any. really deserves such claims in many cases. .

The ThredUp report also highlights the ’emerging growth channel’ of resale, particularly in light of the fact that 43% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with a brand that allows them to shop. ‘swap old clothes for branded credit, and 34% say they’re more likely to shop with a brand that offers second-hand clothes alongside new ones. The company notes that one in three retail executives say reselling is becoming a critical part of the business in order to meet customer expectations, with 42% saying reselling “will be an important part of their business. within 5 years. This is reflected in the reasons why brands are turning to the resale space, namely to acquire more customers, attract younger customers and stay relevant, while of course generating revenue and by operating in a more sustainable manner.

Against this backdrop, ThredUp notes that brands “are barely scratching the surface of the potential impact of resale”, with second-hand clothing accounting for less than 1% of the total volume of clothing sold by retailers who have launched designer stores. resale.

Finally, on a regulatory front, ThredUp found that political incentives could lead to significant adoption of circular fashion, as 53% of fashion executives said they would be “more likely to test resale if it there were financial incentives to do so ”and 47% of consumers revealing that they would be“ more inclined to buy second-hand clothing if there was no sales tax or if they received a credit from tax”. Regarding examples of how the government can “allow resale to reach its potential environmental impact”, ThredUp proposes to remove sales tax for consumers or provide tax credit on second-hand purchases, giving tax deductions to brands with certified resale programs, requiring clothing to be disposed of responsibly by consumers, and requiring retailers to reuse returns.

Reflecting on these findings for a while, Neil Saunders, Managing Director of GlobalData, said that “retailers recognize this change, which is why so many of them are now looking to go into resale,” making the is reselling what he calls “the fastest growing and largest portion of the apparel market at a rapid rate over the next decade.”

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