Shopping Secondhand Is Not a Dirty Secret Anymore but a Badge of Honor

The resale market is growing a lot, especially in the last two years since people started clearing out their closets. Now, buying pre-loved items is a badge of honor in a way, while before, many people would hide the fact they are shopping secondhand. What has changed and how brands responded to the shift is what we want to discuss in this article.

Shopping Secondhand Is on The Rise
Shopping Secondhand Is on The Rise

According to a report from 2021 done by the online resale store ThredUp, the secondhand apparel market will probably double in the next 5 years. 33 million consumers bought secondhand clothing for the very first time in 2020 and according to the research, 76% of the consumers are planning on buying more secondhand clothing in the future. Resale is even expected to grow 11 times faster than the broader retail clothing sector according to GlobalData.

Attitude Towards Secondhand Is Changing

There has been a buildup in the last several years of people turning more towards pre-loved fashion. Many have taken the time to clear their wardrobes when they were staying home. Also, we’ve seen a shift from thrifting being stigmatized to being celebrated in the past 10 or so years. More and more fashion lovers are turning to thrift stores to find one-of-a-kind pieces to share with their audience on social media.

Erin Wallace, VP of integrated marketing at ThredUp, says that online resale has made shopping secondhand more modernized. Now, there are also generations that grew up without a stigma around thrifting.

How the Brands React

As the resale market is growing, the battle between buyers and sellers is getting more intense. There are many apps and websites that offer peer-to-peer selling and buying. But some fashion brands are trying to get a piece of the pie by consolidating, pushing into foreign markets, partnerships, and offering more exclusive services to cement their place in this expanding market.

Renting and resale are also becoming increasingly popular because people are more and more interested in decreasing their environmental footprint. Brands that were ignoring the growing popularity of shopping secondhand are now dipping their toes into this big pool and trying to gain control over the resale of items bought from their stores.

Box of items bought on ThredUp

Many started offering resale through their own websites and stores. Offering resale is a sustainable move that more businesses will probably make. It’s a great way to offer second and third life to different items and keep them away from the landfills for as long as possible. It will take some time for it all to work out but it’s definitely a direction that we will see more and more brands heading towards.