The resale market is expected to double in the next five years.
According to the ninth annual “2021 Resale Report” from online resale platform ThredUp Inc. and retail analytics firm GlobalData, secondhand apparel, shoes, and accessories is now a $36 billion market, projected to double in the next five years to $77 billion. Resale is expected to grow 11 times faster than firsthand retail clothing sales over the next five years.
In addition, resale sales are expected to be more than twice the size of fast fashion sales by 2030, with two in five resale consumers saying they're replacing fast fashion purchases with secondhand clothing. In 2020, 33 million consumers bought secondhand apparel for the first time, and 76% of those first-time buyers plan to increase their spend on secondhand in the next five years.
The average resale consumer bought seven items secondhand in the past year that they would normally buy new, which study data indicates displaced more than 542 million new items of apparel.
Other interesting findings include:
• 43% of surveyed consumers say they are more likely to shop with a brand that lets them trade in old clothes for brand credit, and 34% say they are more likely to shop with a brand that offers secondhand clothing alongside new.
• One in three consumers care more about wearing sustainable apparel than they did pre-pandemic.
• Since the COVID-19 pandemic, 60% of consumers are more opposed to wasting money, 51% are more opposed to environmental waste, and 50% care more about seeking value.
• Almost six in 10 (58%) surveyed retail executives say they'd be more likely to test apparel resale if there were financial incentives for doing so.
• 62% of retail executives say their customers are already participating in resale, and 42% say resale will be an important part of their business in the next five years.
• One in three retail executives say resale is becoming table stakes for retailers.