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WHAT IS DRIVING THE GROWTH IN SECONDHAND CLOTHING MARKET?

Updated: Jun 22


What is the secondhand apparel market and what is resale? Secondhand is defined as the consumption of all used apparel (Including thrift and donations.) And resale is defined as a more curated product assortment – often well-merchandised and/or higher end. Some examples would be Buffalo Exchange, Plato’s Closet, ThredUP, and Poshmark.


How fast is the secondhand market growing? The now 24 billion dollar industry is expected to grow to $51 billion by the year 2023. This market has grown 21 X faster than retail in the past 3 years.


How are major retailers responding to this change? Companies are designing products for a secondary market with a focus on sharing/renting and not ownership. (Graphic) -Retailers are partnering with resale in the form of pop-up shops. ThredUP pop-up shops are being tested in Macy’s, JC Penney, and Madewell. Gap has also recently partnered with ThredUP offering “Clean out kits” in-store – recyclable bags and shipping labels for your used apparel which are sent to ThredUP in exchange for store credit at Gap, Banana, Athleta and Janie, and Jack. Nordstrom’s has also begun selling secondhand apparel. Accepting customers used items, cleaning, refurbishing, and reselling in an initiative called “See you Tomorrow” Although selling used clothes may bring in one type of consumer. Analysts say that retailers may run the risk of alienating loyal customers.


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Links to Sources:

https://www.thredup.com/resale?tswc_redir=true

https://www.uschamber.com/co/good-company/launch-pad/retailers-fuel-resale-trend

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/03/books/review/how-fast-fashion-is-destroying-the-planet.html

https://www.retaildive.com/news/gap-latest-retailer-to-partner-with-thredup/572721/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/01/29/nordstrom-gets-into-used-clothes-business/


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