Fashion resale continues to rise and rise

Date: 26-Mar-19
Author: Liam Taylor

Thrift shops and fashion resale is thriving according to the world's biggest online fashion resale outlet. Image: Chrissie Kremer/Unsplash © Chrissie Kremer/Unsplash

Thrift shops and fashion resale is thriving according to the world's biggest online fashion resale outlet. Image: Chrissie Kremer/Unsplash

A new study suggests the market for fashion resale is booming and could even overtake fast fashion if it continues to grow at this rate.

The newest Resale Report on the used clothing market from the world’s largest online, second-hand clothing retailer Thredup has found that in the United States over the last three years, the resale sector in fashion has grown 21 times faster than conventional retail. This is significant, with the ‘fast fashion’ sector being shown to have significant environmental impacts in recent years.

Trend-driven ‘fast fashion’ refers to the turnover of cheaply made garments at low prices that epitomises much of the contemporary industry. It’s estimated the fashion industry produces 100 billion new items of clothing every year, with the majority made from virgin resources and three out of five of those items winding up in landfill within 12 months of being bought.

A recent report from Stand.Earth found the industry is responsible for 8% of global climate pollution, with total emissions that would make it the fourth largest climate polluter on Earth as a country. By 2030, it is predicted that the fashion industry will be using two Earths’ worth of resources, with the demand for clothing rising by 63%.

The resale market turns this on its head by offering diverting pre-loved items from landfill and making them available for sale at reduced prices. Thredup’s report indicated the value of the used clothing market could grow from the current US$24 billion to US$51 billion within the next five years.


Positive Action

  • If you have second-hand clothing in good condition that you no longer want, check the RecyclingNearYou ReUse Hub to find charities where they can be donated.
  • Host a Swap Party, or keep an eye out for public Swap Parties during National Recycling Week.
  • If you are planning on buying new, try and research the manufacturer and, where possible, support ethical and sustainable producers.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.

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Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.

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