Rent the Runway jumps into fashion resale market

Marianne Wilson
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Rent the Runway is the latest company to enter the fast-growing market for secondhand clothing.

 Since 2016, existing Rent the Runway subscribers have had the option to purchase items that they rented. But the fashion rental company is now making all the clothing featured on its site available for resale to regular, non-member shoppers as well. No membership is required to shop the site.

 “This is another way for customers to engage with us for the first time,”  Rent the Runway co-founder CEO Jennifer Hyman said in a report by Vogue. “There’s a very broad audience of people who want to consume secondhand, but potentially didn’t come to our platform in the past because they weren’t ready to subscribe, or they didn’t have an upcoming party or event. Now, they have the opportunity to experience the quality of our assortment, the diversity of our brands, and the incredible fashion on our platform.”

The news about Rent the Runway’s expansion into fashion resale came the same day that Etsy entered into a $1.62 billion deal to acquire U.S. fashion resale site Depop.  In March, leading U.S. resale marketplace ThredUp went public.

   Sales of used clothing in the United States are booming. The secondhand market is estimated to be worth $28 billion, according to ThredUp’s annual report. The company expects it to increase to $64 billion by 2024.