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The Pre-Loved Market Is Becoming Bigger Than Fast Fashion

Fast fashion looks to have lost its lustre.

Thank you, Marie Kondo. 

Looks like the Netflix generation is actually listening to what's going on around them as – according to Fast Company – the resale apparel market is booming. 

The 2019 thredUp Resale Report analysed the drivers pushing this revitalised sector, showing that 56 million women bought secondhand products in 2018, an increase of 12 million new secondhand shoppers from the year prior.

And they’re not done yet: 51% of resale shoppers allegedly plan to spend even more on thrift in the next five years.

"The last few years of growth in resale have been driven by early adopters, but now sceptics are coming around in droves,” James Reinhart, founder and CEO of thredUP, said in a press statement.

"The ‘resale customer’ is no longer a niche group–it’s everyone.”

ThredUp reports that increased growth can be credited both to millennials and Generation Z, who adopt secondhand items 2.5 times faster than the average consumer.

It also found that:

  • As consumers partake in the resale market, they now own 28 fewer items, on average, than two years ago.
  • The resale market grew 21 times faster than apparel retail over the past three years.
  • 72% of secondhand shoppers shifted spend away from traditional retailers to buy more used items.
  • The secondhand clothing industry is expected to grow 1.5 times the size of fast fashion within 10 years.
  • One-third of consumers polled by ThredUp said they would spend more with their favourite retailers if those retailers also sold secondhand apparel.

It was also revealed that the industry capitalising on secondhand goods boasts an impressive $24 billion market, projected to double to $51 billion by 2024.

This coincides with what several industry analysts predicted would happen in tandem with the “Kondo Effect" – that fast fashion would eventually slow down

Inspired by Kondo’s “KonMari” method of tidying and organising, but bringing minimalism to the forefront of consumerism is most certainly being prioritised. 

And while Kondo, herself, might suggest rounding up old books for resale or donation, her first title, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is experiencing a resurgence on the sales charts, returning to the New York Times bestseller list after being published over five years ago.

It has since sold over seven million copies in more than 40 languages.

Main image by @rosebowlfleamarket

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