LS:N Global is a division of: The Future Laboratory

Resale retail

20 : 04 : 2017 Whole-system Thinking : Recycling : Millennials

US – According to a new report from ThredUp, apparel resale is on the rise.

  • The second-hand apparel industry is expected to be worth £26bn ($33bn, €31bn) by 2021
  • Three quarters (76%) of shoppers cite the fun factor as one of the top three reasons they shop resale
  • High-income shoppers are 35% more likely to try second-hand retail than low-income shoppers
ThredUp, US ThredUp, US

Apparel resale is worth £14bn ($18bn, €16.8bn) online and offline, according to ThredUp’s Annual Resale Report 2017. The study says a third of women would shop second-hand, adding that the clothing, shoes and accessories sector accounts for almost half (49%) of the entire resale market.

As the lure of traditional retail and shopping malls continues to falter, the second-hand industry offers satisfaction and a sense of discovery. The report finds resale disruptors are growing 20 times faster than the broader retail market. More than three quarters (78%) of women say they rarely find anything new or exciting when shopping in traditional stores. By comparison, 63% say resale’s discovery factor makes it thrilling.

The in-depth study of demographic behaviour reveals that mindful Millennials are behind much of the rise in the resale sector. According to the study, 30% of Millennials, which it defines as 18–25-year-olds, have shopped second-hand in the past 12 months and 21% say they will shop second-hand in the future.

Many thrift shoppers are high earners, says a section of the study that examines the net worth of ThredUp’s keenest users. It claims that 10% of ThredUp’s most active shoppers are millionaires, with 36% earning a salary of between £196k (€233k, $250k) and £782k (€933k, $1m).

The Big Picture

Through fresh aesthetics and an active approach to sustainability, second-hand shopping is on the rise. For more, see our Recycling Rebranded microtrend.