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Impressive Growth Projections

         The global secondhand clothing market is on a trajectory of robust growth, as indicated by the annual Resale Report released by online reselling platform ThredUp. It’s projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12%, reaching $350 billion by 2028. This growth rate surpasses that of the entire retail industry. By 2028, the U.S. secondhand clothing market is expected to grow to $73 billion, nearly seven times faster than the growth rate of the entire retail clothing market in 2023.

The global secondhand apparel market is expected to grow 3X faster

          By 2025, secondhand clothing sales are projected to account for 10% of the global apparel market, with online resale comprising half of all secondhand clothing expenditures during that period. ThredUp’s research indicates that 63% of consumers who purchased secondhand clothing in 2023 did so online, marking a 17% increase from the previous year. Additionally, 45% of Generation Z and Millennials express a preference for online shopping.

         There’s a clear trend, especially among younger demographics, towards purchasing secondhand clothing online. In 2023, nearly two-thirds of consumers who bought secondhand clothing had made at least one online purchase, a 17 percentage point increase from 2022. ThredUp’s CEO, James Reinhart, notes, “The continuous growth of the global secondhand clothing market demonstrates the intrinsic value shoppers find in the secondhand experience and underscores the significant shift towards a more circular fashion ecosystem.”

Youth Preference for Online Secondhand Shopping

         Notably, 42% of consumers voice support for legislative measures promoting sustainable fashion, while 40% are more likely to vote for candidates who support sustainable fashion. ThredUp has compiled a list of top resale brands for 2023 based on sales volume and the quantity of items sold on their platform.

The U.S. secondhand market maintains a strong growth trajectory, demonstrating its staying power

           Furthermore, secondhand clothing constitutes a significant portion of both expenditures and wardrobes. Hence, in times of economic challenge, adaptable shoppers turn to secondhand clothing. In 2023, 52% of consumers purchased secondhand clothing, a 5 percentage point increase from 2022. Over the past 12 months, one-fifth of items purchased by consumers were secondhand clothing.

New Shoppers Projected to Account for the Majority of Future Secondhand Market Growth in the U.S.

           Reinhart remarks, “Over the years, we’ve engaged with hundreds of apparel brands, witnessing the conversation shift from why retailers should enter the resale space to how resale can work for their own brands, which is inspiring.” Many fashion brands like Levi’s, Kate Spade, J. Crew, and Oscar de la Renta have launched their own resale programs in recent years, incentivizing both selling and buying for consumers. This not only advances companies’ sustainability goals but also helps acquire more customers and generate additional revenue.

The second-hand clothing market will reach US$350 billion in 2028

           The thriving secondhand clothing market represents a significant shift towards sustainable fashion practices and a more circular economy. With consumers increasingly turning to online platforms for their secondhand purchases and showing support for sustainability initiatives, the market’s growth trajectory is poised to continue. As fashion brands embrace resale opportunities, they not only contribute to environmental conservation but also tap into a lucrative market segment. The secondhand clothing market stands as a testament to the evolving consumer preferences and the potential for fashion industry transformation towards a more sustainable future.

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