With Earth Day on April 22, it’s a good time to reflect on the big trends and positive shifts in fashion retail over the past decade – such as the rise of resale fashion. What was a low-budget alternative to buying new clothing has become a cutting-edge fashion sub-industry that caters to all budgets, styles, and tastes. The resale surge has spread globally, with a significant increase in markets on all continents.
According to ThredUp’s Resale Report 2022, the resale market will see accelerated growth in 2023, growing at 26%, and continue the momentum into 2024, growing at 33%. The Global Data report estimates that the global resale market was worth over $186 billion in 2022.
How is resale fashion sustainable, and who are the players?
The vast popularity of resale fashion caused the number of new fashion items sold in 2021 alone to drop by over over 1 billion, adding to a considerable amount of resources. The big global players include Vestiaire Collective, eBay, Depop, Vinted, Poshmark, GOAT, and Oxfam. And that’s ignoring up-and-coming fashion rental brands such as Rent the Runway.
How is technology changing the resale fashion industry?
High-end resale emerged from the thrift and donation market as resellers began mimicking new fashion retailers with apps and ecommerce sites. Although eBay was a pioneer in reselling fashion from its inception, the emergence of apps and smart payment systems raised the trust among buyers to begin forking out more money for branded resold fashion – or ‘Pre-Loved’ fashion, as Vestiaire reframes it.
What latest tech developments will boost sustainable fashion?
As consumers become more aware of the impact of fashion on the environment, they make more informed decisions about their purchases. Consumers want to reduce their carbon footprint, support ethical practices, and promote sustainability. They are increasingly interested in knowing more about the positive and negative impacts connected to the products they buy. They are generally more conscious about where the garment has come from and where it can go. Brands are adapting to fulfill the desire for more sustainable fashion.
Luxury fashion brand Chloé recently announced it’s actively helping the resale market by adding unique digital ID’s to its clothing items, guaranteeing a garment or accessorie’s authenticity when it comes to reselling. The ID’s on each item will be scannable with a mobile application, so the second or third buyer will know they are getting the real deal. Other luxury brands, such as Rolex, have already rolled out systems for resellers to vouch for the authenticity of their watches.
Advanced Product-to-Consumer platforms that offer complete product lifecycle traceability and maintain consistent, unique product data across all channels and markets enable global players like Vestiaire to process and display the hundreds of thousands of SKUs they need to create to sell secondhand fashion and support circular mindsets.
With secondhand fashion, each item is unique because of the different attributes it may have – age, condition, etc. There is no simple product range in circular fashion.
This data volume must be managed using smart software, or the sellers can’t maintain their business models.