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Global resale market to reach 350 billion dollars by 2028

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Fashion |Report

ThredUP unveils 12th annual resale report Credits: ThredUp

ThredUp, a prominent player in the resale industry, has released its 12th annual Resale Report, shedding light on the robust expansion and evolving trends within the secondhand fashion market.

The report underscores the burgeoning significance of resale in the retail landscape and suggests that governmental intervention could expedite the shift towards a more sustainable future for fashion.

Here are the top 10 insights gleaned from the report:

Global Phenomenon

The global secondhand apparel market is projected to soar to 350 billion dollars by 2028, with the U.S. market expected to reach 73 billion dollars.

Resale's Growth Engine

Resale outpaced the broader retail clothing sector by a staggering 15-fold in 2023, with online resale experiencing accelerated growth at 23 percent year-over-year.

Closet Composition

Secondhand items accounted for a substantial portion of apparel purchases in 2023, comprising 2 in every 5 clothing items bought.

Financial Motivation

A significant 69 percent of consumers engaged in apparel resale in 2023 to earn extra income, with nearly half utilising the proceeds for essential expenses like groceries and bills.

Gateway to Luxury

Retailers are leveraging resale to attract new customers, with 38 percent of consumers citing affordability of higher-end brands as a primary reason for shopping secondhand.

Digital Dominance

Online platforms have become the preferred avenue for purchasing secondhand goods, with 63 percent of buyers opting for digital transactions, marking a notable 17-point increase from the previous year.

Value Proposition

The appeal of secondhand apparel lies in its value-for-money proposition, with 60 percent of consumers asserting that it offers the most bang for their buck.

Branded Resale Surge

Branded resale experienced significant momentum in 2023, with a remarkable 31% year-over-year growth. Noteworthy additions to the resale landscape included established brands like J.Crew, American Eagle, and Kate Spade.

Circular Economy Impact

A staggering 87% of brands integrating resale into their business models report progress towards sustainability goals, while 67 percent anticipate that resale will contribute a substantial revenue stream within five years.

Policy Advocacy

A considerable 42 percent of consumers advocate for legislative measures to promote sustainable fashion, with younger demographics indicating a propensity to favor political candidates supporting circularity initiatives.

The global market for secondhand apparel is thriving, reflecting the growing appeal of secondhand shopping and indicating a significant shift towards a more circular fashion industry, James Reinhart, CEO of ThredUP, wrote in the company’s report. “While we celebrate this progress, we acknowledge the pivotal role that government intervention can play in expediting the fashion industry's transition to sustainability.”

As the Resale Report enters its 12th year, it presents promising insights into the potential future of fashion with increased governmental support. “Until the fashion sector ceases to be one of the most environmentally damaging industries, we will continue to advocate for governmental action to promote adoption of sustainable practices.”

To read the full report go to www.thredup.com/resale.