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Sustainably-minded shoppers driving resale market growth

By Andrea Byrne

Oct 21, 2020

As consumers increasingly seek sustainable products, new research reveals that 69 percent of shoppers are now willing to purchase more secondhand pieces in the future and that consumers’ wardrobes will increasingly comprise secondhand clothing, from 21 percent in 2020 to 27 percent in 2023.

That’s according to Vestiaire Collective and the Boston Consulting Group, which have partnered up for the second time to release ‘The Consumers Behind Fashion’s Growing Secondhand Market’ report, in which 7,000 individuals from the US, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK were surveyed.

The global resale market is currently worth between 30 and 40 billion dollars, according to the report, with the market expected to accelerate by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 to 20 percent in the next five years. Developed markets could rise even higher and could see a 100 percent year-over-year growth.

Sustainability leads consumer towards secondhand clothing

The survey revealed that consumers’ environmental concerns are contributing to the secondhand market’s growth. 70 percent of respondents said they feel the need to shop more for preowned items in an effort to become more sustainable, compared to 62 percent in 2018.

Meanwhile, 60 percent of sellers said they would have not traded their pieces without the secondhand market and 70 percent of consumers said the secondhand market motivates them to take better care of their clothing. Additionally, 85 percent of preowned buyers aim to reduce overconsumption of fashion by buying fewer but higher quality and longer-lasting items.

Affordability, item uniqueness and selection availability have also contributed to the market’s growing popularity.

Luxury brands are benefiting from the preowned boom

Some 62 percent of respondents are more willing to buy from fashion brands that partner up with secondhand labels. The luxury market would benefit from this type of partnership as 60 percent of consumers wish to buy from purpose-led organisations and 48 percent of respondents purchased a brand that was new to them last year through secondhand channels.

Photo credit: Unsplash