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Secondhand Clothing Sales To Make Up 10% Of Global Fashion Sales 

Secondhand clothing sales are currently on track to make up a tenth of all global fashion market sales, according to a report from GlobalData which was done for the resale company ThredUp. The cost of living crisis and general concerns over sustainability are two of the reasons cited for consumers being more drawn to secondhand clothing.

According to the data, reported by the Guardian, “Global sales of pre-owned clothes surged by 18% last year to $197bn (£156bn) and are forecast to reach $350bn in 2028.” 

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The secondhand market in the US grew seven times faster than general fashion retail where sales have been relatively stagnant throughout the past year, according to the data. 

Co-founder and chief executive of ThredUp, James Reinhart, stated that the resale sector of the fashion industry likely was able to grow in an otherwise tough market because it’s “more resilient” in a housing market that’s struggling along with high energy costs and food pricing. 

“When consumer sentiment is softer, value is key. People are looking to shop secondhand to drive more value.”

Reinhart went on to explain that interest in secondhand items has been mainly prominent in younger generations, however, it’s now starting to “span generations.”

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The GlobalData report showed that more than half of the shoppers analyzed had bought something second hand within the past year; 65% of those shoppers were aged between 12 and 43 (generation Z and millennials), and 38% of the consumers stated that they shop secondhand to get better deals on higher end brands. 

Digital secondhand shopping has also made it easier for consumers to shop sustainably, especially among the younger generations. ThredUp, Depop, and other online secondhand retailers have been so successful that the sector is projected to see its sales more than double within the next five years to an estimated $40 billion. 

For the older generation, shoppers within that demographic are more likely to go to physical retail stores, as there is also now an increase in availability to secondhand clothing stores. 

Reinhart also stated that it would be beneficial to the industry if there was legislation implemented to further limit the growth of fast fashion, an industry that is responsible for a lot of the CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions that come from the fashion industry in general. 

“It is hard not to believe that there will be some activity in that space in the next three to five years given how much of the apparel ends up in landfill,” he said.