Some Good News: Secondhand Will Soon Outsell Fast Fashion

Citing a new study published on Tuesday, CNBC is reporting that sales of second-hand clothing are set to surpass sales of fast fashion within the next decade.

“The second hand apparel market was worth $24 billion in the U.S. in 2018, versus $35 billion for fast-fashion,” the story says, but by 2028, “the used-fashion market is set to skyrocket in value to $64 billion in the U.S., while fast-fashion will only reach $44 billion.”

If the prediction holds, it would be a startling shift: just a couple of years ago, companies like H&M and Zara were some of the most profitable on the planet. But both have “missed earnings expectations” this year; H&M’s quarterly profit dipped 10 percent in the fourth-quarter, while Zara’s growth has slowed by half.

Meanwhile, the secondhand shopping has gotten a second life (pun very much intended), thanks to a host of new websites and apps. “Shopping for second hand clothes no longer means rummaging in thrift stores: sites such as thredUP in the U.S. and Thrift+ in the U.K. make it easy for people to buy and sell used clothing online.”

There’s also the increasingly popular – and valuable – luxury resale market, led by such sites as The Real Real, which recently raised $288 million in funding and opened nine brick-and-mortar stores in the US.

“As sustainable fashion becomes a necessity as well as a trend, shoppers are looking to fill their closets in different ways,” CNBC said, and if “the [secondhand] market uniquely meets consumers’ preference for variety, value and sustainability,” we shouldn’t expect it to slow down anytime soon.

You can read more about it at CNBC.

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