The fashion industry is moving into a much more sustainable position, a new report has suggested. According to Thredup – which is a secondhand online store based in the United States – the next 10 years will see the resale market grow much faster than traditional retail with secondhand clothing expected to be twice the size of fast fashion by the year 2030.
According to the global report – which was conducted by Thredup with analysis by market research firm GlobalData – the resale market is growing at a rate 11 times faster than traditional retail and should be worth $84 billion by 2030, with fast fashion predicted to be worth about $40 billion.
The data suggests that secondhand fashion is also growing at a much faster rate than sustainable fashion with consumers turning to resale more and more, which has partly happened due to the emergence of more and easier-to-use resale sites, making it more straightforward and appealing for consumers to both sell and buy secondhand goods.
This has happened quite dramatically over the past 12 months. Thredup quoted that 118 million consumers have tried reselling for the first time in 2021, compared with just 36.2 million first-time sellers in 2020.
"Displacing new clothing purchases means secondhand has the ability to change fashion," Karen Clark, vice president of communications at ThredUp told WWD.
Clark also went on to explain that although Millennials and Gen Z are adamant about shopping more sustainably, the research showed a drop in the number of consumers who said they would buy new 'sustainable' clothing. She believes this to be because of price, but also because of greenwashing and the confusion around what brands are determining 'sustainable' fashion to be, while consumers also find sustainably marketed clothing to be less inclusive and transparent than secondhand fashion.
The report suggests that sustainable retail has a long way to go in convincing the younger generations to buy into it, but ultimately that the fashion industry is heading in a more positive direction as the secondhand market will continue to boom, while fast fashion will stall and decline.
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