Traditional retailers might want to brace themselves: Not only has the apparel-resale market grown 21 times faster than its retail counterpart over the past three years, but it’s also poised to more than double in value from $24 billion today to $51 billion in 2023, according to a new report from a leading secondhand e-tailer.
Published Tuesday, ThredUp’s 2019 Resale Report, which features the responses of 2,000 women polled by analytics firm GlobalData this past December and January, found that 64 percent of today’s women are willing to buy used compared with 45 percent in 2016 and 52 percent in 2017. The figures bear out in the real world, too, with the number of women who buy secondhand surging from 44 million in 2017 to 56 million in 2018, according to GlobalData’s previous research.
ThredUp, which bills itself as the world’s largest online consignment and thrift store, observes that while shopping secondhand is an activity that appeals to all ages, millennials and boomers appear to get the most thrills, since they make up 33 percent and 31 percent of thrifters respectively. This may change, however. Findings show that millennials and Gen Z—which is to say, 18- to 37-year-olds—are adopting secondhand apparel 2.5 times faster than other age groups. Moreover, one in three Gen Zers will snap up something preowned in 2019, ThredUp said.
We might have the ‘gram to thank for that: While 56 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds prefer retailers that offer new arrivals every time they visit, 74 percent would rather patronize sustainably conscious brands, per GlobalData. “Resale satisfies two biggest demands of the Instagram generation,” ThredUp explained.