The Unstoppable Rise of Fashion Resale

Old is the new new. In the US alone, it is estimated that nine billion items of clothing sits idle, unworn. Combined with shifting consumer values, second-hand is taking up more space in fashion closets now and in the future. As more and more of what we love to wear is pre-loved, is this fast-growing segment really part of slow fashion?

The Unstoppable Rise of Fashion Resale

Old is the new, new.

While style-setters have long embraced the chicest vintage clothes,

and savvy shoppers search thrift and second-hand stores on the promise of

originality and self-expression,

Online resale are facilitating a bonafide buy, sell, buy, sell boom.

Luxury brands thrive on strict control of distribution, price and perception.

Yet some are now embracing resale to recruit new customers

and deepen engagement with existing ones.

Right across the resale market, the simplicity of transactions

combined with shifting costumer values, means second-hand is taking up more space

in fashion closets now and in the future.

As more and more of what we love to wear is pre-loved.

And the sellers?

In the US alone, it is estimated that nine billion items of clothing are left unworn

According to BoF insights, second-hand fashion sales in the United States

could top 67 billion dollars by 2025.

Buyers are first and foremost seeking value for items for which they

would not be prepared to pay full price.

While sustainability ranks only third as a reason to purchase resale,

sellers and investors cite support of circularity,

and the eco-cred of reducing emissions, energy and water use.

But should we really be celebrating this as slow fashion?

Or is it just another quick fix?

Could re-selling unwanted items actually be accelerating more first-hand consumption?

“Drops” and limited edition products create urgency and scarcity

with some resale prices more than 6 times higher than retail prices.

And how to be sure of real versus fake?

In the buzzy youth segment, how to protect peer-to-peer

teenage traders in exposed online communities?

Resale platforms must be vigilant on authenticity and safety.

While customers on both sides of the transaction should keep age old mottos in mind.

Caveat Emptor, Caveat Venditor

Let the Buyer and the Seller beware.

Credits: The Business of Fashion