Here’s why fashion resale is set to shake up your shopping habits… and the fashion market

10 April 2018
By Fashion Quarterly


Our shopping patterns are changing more than ever before.

We’ve all been there… trawling through Designer Wardrobe, Trade Me or eBay on the hunt for that designer dress we missed out on last season but still desperately want. Or we’ve had a Carrie Bradshaw “I was looking for a $7 dress to go with my $300 shoes” kind-of a moment…

Either way, our habit of dabbling with second-hand clothes shopping is increasing, according to a recent report released by US reseller ThredUp.

The Resale Report estimates that resale fashion will hold a market worth of $41 billion USD by 2022. While in 2017 resale fashion made up 6% of the fashion market, it is forecast to hold 11% by 2027.

“The closet of the future is going to look very different from the closet of today,” commented James Reinhart, CEO and co-founder of ThredUp, in the report. Reinhart likened the rise in resale due to the change in traditional shopping patterns including the shift towards online purchasing as well as the increases in rental and subscription sites.

“Sometimes the clothes don’t fit, sometimes the quality doesn’t match the price, sometimes customer service is uneven or shipping methods mess with the best-laid plan,” says Reinhart. Think of all those online purchases you later on-sell due to one reason or another.


The report also revealed that the resale industry has attracted wealthy consumers with the introduction of consignment and vintage designer stores. While 66% of shoppers say they use resale sites to enjoy brands they normally couldn’t afford, 13% of shoppers are also self-identified millionaires. And it’s a trend that we’re already starting to see impact designer brands with the release of archive collections. Not to mention the success of labels like RE/DONE who take vintage Levi’s and alter them to suit modern fits.

According to the report, the present generation’s shift towards resale purchasing is also due to concerns about the environment and questions around sustainability. Current market trends have also indicated this with brands making agreements like the Circular Fashion Commitment which encourages the reselling of used garments and use of recycled fibres.

In New Zealand, popular resale stores include internet-based Designer Wardrobe and Trade Me with Tatty’s and Recycle Boutique providing a brick and mortar experience. Online designer resale stores where you can get your fix include HEWI London | High Fashion Society | Le PrixRewind VintageThe Real Real | Vestiaire Collective.

Words: Ella Francis.
Photos: Getty Images.

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