Americans are embracing sustainable fashion choices by buying more resale goods than ever before, driving the rise in secondhand fashion. Within the next five years, the market is expected to reach a whopping US$77 billion. In the new report, analysts say that a convergence of driving forces are making shoppers “think secondhand first”.
Using data collected by retail analytics firm GlobalData, new research estimates that the secondhand apparel market in the U.S. will double within the next five years to US$77 billion. The report was commissioned by the online consignment startup thredUP and involved more than 3,500 adults in the country.
33 million new secondhand shoppers
Looking into the emerging trends driving the rise of resale, the report found that a record 33 million people bought secondhand for the first time in 2020. Of these first-time buyers, more than three-quarters (76%) plan on increasing their share of resale purchases in the next five years.
“Consumers are prioritising sustainability, retailers are starting to embrace resale,” commented thredUP co-founder and CEO James Reinhart. “We are in the early stages of a radical transformation in retail.”
At present, the secondhand market is valued at US$36 billion. But analysts say it’s going to grow 11-times faster compared to the retail clothing sector to reach the projected US$77 billion.
Much of the demand is stemming from changing consumer values amid Covid-19. According to the survey, 1 in 3 shoppers say they care more about sustainable apparel now than in pre-pandemic times. 51% of those polled are now more opposed to environmental waste overall.