Buying second-hand clothes was not really trendy for years. It is sometimes still associated with those small old shops where you have to dive into clothes often not in a very good condition. But nowadays the numbers are indicating something very different. Global statistics show that the second-hand market is estimated to hit $51 billion in value worldwide by 2025. This would be the doubled value of the current situation but how is this possible and why? There are a few reasons behind.
With the rise of extreme fast fashion, trends are copied from the catwalks and available in the stores just in such short period of time as two weeks usually. As our modern society is built on the idea of endless consumption, going shopping is such a normal weekend activity for people, they go and have a look around and usually never leave the malls without a few new clothes as they are cheap, disposable and currently trendy. But this has many side effects, like people end up with clothes they do not actually need or will not wear after one occasion. The greatest and smartest solution is to try to sell it, people can connect with others who would might buy the exact same piece of clothing in a fast fashion shop but this way be able to buy it for cheaper from someone who does not need it that item anymore.
Another reason is millennials and younger generations who are driving the growth of second-hand market as they are keen to look fashionable but in a different sense of the meaning. They want to be unique and not seeing their jacket on two or more people when they are going out. These people are looking for rare, often older, vintage pieces which will not hang in other’s closet. Especially now that the iconic style of the 90s are coming back this decade people seeking to sell and buy real vintage treasures.
And there is another reason behind which might be the most important among all, which is the life cycle of clothes. People are getting more environmentally conscious and keeping our clothes in use for more than just a few weeks and longer their lifetime is essential. Instead of throwing away a T-shirt after wearing it twice and sending it to the landfill, people can keep these clothes in the circulation for years with finding a new owner for them.
Why now is the golden age of second-hand shopping?
Shopping in physical stores or ordering from well-known brand’s website has been safe and easy for years but selling and buying pre-loved items between people who usually never met before can be problematic. How to pay safely, send and receive the clothes or complain when something does not turn out as expected? Technology developments were much needed to solve these issues and provide people platforms where browsing and shopping can be such a different level of experience. All the social changes happening now are in line with the advantages of second-hand shopping, people can stay home while buying clothes instead of going to crowded shopping malls and every second-hand purchase is supporting our environment and helping to reduce the negative effects of the fashion industry.
by: Szilvia Turi