Secondhand is coming – are you ready?

Secondhand is coming – are you ready?

Climate conscious young customers drive the trend towards circular fashion future. Secondhand market is expected to grow more than two-fold in the next ten years and will beat fast fashion by 2024.

According to The ThredUp 2019 Resale Report, the US resale market has grown 21 times faster than the retail apparel market over the past few years. It is projected to reach over $50 billion by 2024 in the US.

Indeed, 51% of 2000 the American women surveyed for the report plan to spend more on secondhand in the next five years. Millennials and Generation Z are driving the growth of resale, as 18-37 year-olds are adopting to secondhand apparel 2,5 times faster than other age groups.

Innovations and technology drive the trend: applications and personalization such as Lagoom app make it easy to sell preloved items from home, and buying used clothes is as easy as purchasing new. According to the ThredUp report, convenience and trust has attracted a new generation of secondhand shoppers. In addition, 40% of consumers now consider the resale value of an item before buying it.

Resale plays a key role in creating a circular fashion future. The equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is dumped or burned every second and 108 million tons of non-renewable resources are used each year to produce clothing. The textile industry will account for 25% of the global carbon budget by 2050. By contrast, buying one used item reduces its carbon footprint by 82%.

In Finland, resale market grows 5-10% every year. Particularly younger (18-29 years) and elderly (60-75 years) women cite accountability and climate issues as factors affecting their consumer behavior, according to a study by Finnish Textile & Fashion.

Finns prefer to buy durable clothes and almost half of the surveyed consumers had amended clothes themselves or by an artisan. Indeed, if clothes were used two times longer than today, textile industry carbon emissions would drop over 40%.

On average, Finns spend €740 per year on clothes. Currently secondhand stores and online resale marketplaces receive only 8% of the total amount spent on clothing. But consumer behavior is changing in the Nordic countries, for example towards luxury bags. It has become acceptable to purchase them used and consumers see themselves as temporary owners.

Clothing rental, amendment services and resale platforms are all expected to grow in the near future, faster pace than few could foresee. 

Sanna Ra

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