Earlier this year thredUP has published a report which claims that within the next 10 years the second hand fashion market will be larger than fast fashion.

In 2008 the resale market (secondhand market) was worth 9 billion dollars. It almost tripled in 2018 to reach 24 billon dollars. And it’s being projected to reach 64 billion within the next 10 years. That’s in 2028.

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Fast fashion was 21 billion in 2008, 35 billion in 2018 and should reach 44 billion in 2028.

Which means that, in 10 years, second hand will be almost one and a half the size of fast fashion.

Is the second hand market going to become larger than fast fashion?

It’s hard to say. On one hand, I do believe that it can happen. On the other hand, it seems to good to be true.

Still I think it’s a very good new.

Because THE most sustainable garment is the one that already exists.

We do have to keep in mind synthetic fibers and microplastics.

But buying second hand is a very good thing to do for the environment.

So why did the resale market experienced such a rapid growth?

First of all, the stigma is fading and more people are okay with buying second hand clothes that used to belong to someone else.

Secondly, technology is changing the market. Websites like thredUP, poshmark, the real real allow everyone to sell their used clothes online. Which wasn’t possible before. For example, thredUP can create up to 100 000 unique online items a day. That’s huge.

Also more and more people are aware of the environmental (and social) impact of buying new clothes.

I would like to think this is the main reason, but it actually seems more plausible that the growth is driven by people who always want to be seen in new outfits. And resale is perfect for that.

It’s kind of ironic to think that it’s the same constant desire for novelty which has supported fast fashion for some many years that’s now getting people into resale. But hey every reason is good to reuse, reduce and recycle.

What do you think will second hand overtake fast fashion ? And is it a good thing?

Written by Ugo Dutil :
I grew up in the ecovillage Cite Ecologique. I like this way of life that values human relationships, sustainable development and personal growth. I’ve been working with Respecterre since 2013. #Hemp, minimalism, #slowfashion and moving towards sustainability, especially in textiles, fascinate me.

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