2020 was the scene of a dramatic increase in secondhand clothes sales all across the world. As an example, the UK secondhand clothing market recorded a rise of 196% between 2018 and 2020. According to Thredup, a secondhand online store based in the US, the resale market will grow at a rate 11 times faster than traditional retail in the coming years, with secondhand clothing expected to be twice the size of fast fashion by 2029.
With the Fashion Industry being the second most pollutive industry on the earth, this new interest in resale fashion is delighting news for the planet! But Mother Earth won’t be the only one benefiting from this shift in consumptions habits. With resale clothes being usually cheaper than equivalent new clothes, consuming fewer new clothes will surely have a positive impact on our finances.
The Ecological Impact of Buying Used Instead of New
Today, most clothing is composed of polyester or acrylic, which are both forms of plastic. The estimate is that it takes about 70 million barrels of oil to produce the polyester used in fabrics each year. Moreover, this type of material is highly demanding in terms of water. Thus, the clothing industry is responsible for 20% of global water pollution.
A study conducted by WRAP found that prolonging the average life of clothing by only three months per item would result in a 5-10% reduction in carbon, water, and waste footprints. And that’s just three months. Imagine the positive impact of the stunning 20-year-old denim jacket you found when you last thrifted! If you want to reduce your ecological impact, it’s crystal clear that you should start to shop for resale clothing.
The Ecological Impact of Buying Used Clothes [ThredUp study]
Not Only Greener, but Cheaper!
Putting aside luxury fashion resale, secondhand items are often available for a fraction of the retail price. This price advantage is one of the main reasons the reused clothes market skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic. It was necessary for a lot of people to cut their expenses. But even though thrifting became a new pandemic habit, it is expected to stick. Indeed, according to ThredUp, saving money on clothes is now a top priority for 1 in 2 consumers.
If a lot of us are seeking bargains in it, the resale market is also a good opportunity to make some extra-money. Indeed, many platforms for the sale of second-hand items between individuals have appeared over the last ten years making it very easy to earn money while cleaning out your closet.
A Tailor-made Offer for Each and Every One of Us
As the secondhand clothing market grows, more and more actors make their appearance. This multitude of offers makes it possible to satisfy the needs of a broad range of shoppers. You like everything that makes thrift stores so charming? Rummaging through the shelves, the smell of old clothes, negotiating the price with the seller… No worries, more and more thrift stores are popping up in big and smaller cities. You prefer to do some shopping from the comfort of your sofa? No problem either, there is more and more super intuitive to use resale platforms and plenty of internet thrift shops. You absolutely love being trendy but don’t want to spend your precious time searching for the perfect piece ? Go and follow some fashion influencers who will share some gems and you’ll be just one swipe-up away from your dream 70’s dress. I for myself particularly love the French influenceur PrêteMoiTaVeste who illuminates my feed with her super colourful and original looks.
A Boon for Styles!
Last but not least, if my previous arguments have not convinced you yet to take the plunge and start to shop secondhand clothing, think about how Fast Fashion is holding us back from expressing ourselves through outfits. Certainly the low cost of Fast Fashion has had the benefit of making trends accessible to all. But this mass production has had the effect of making us all look alike, wearing the same pieces from the same stores.
Resale clothes are a perfect opportunity to find pieces you won’t see on anyone else. How to be trendy wearing clothes made years if not decades ago? Fashion is a cycle, I’m sure you remember that our dear Chandler from Friends was a big fan of sweater-vests, the same sweater-vests you can now see Hailey Bieber wearing in the streets of LA! The same goes with flare jeans, corsets or even low-rise pants which were big hits a while ago and are once again in the limelight.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for my next thrift-shopping session!