Reworn clothing is a growing market that is expected to reach $64 billion in sales by 2024 from current sales of $28 billion, according to a new joint annual industry report from ThredUp, the world’s largest online thrift and consignment platform, and research and analytics firm GlobalData.
According to the report, 62 million women purchased secondhand in 2019, up from 56 million women in 2018. And just this year alone, the online secondhand marketplace is expected to grow 27%, while the broader retail sector is expected to shrink by 23%, the report showed.
ThredUP released a list of the brands with the best overall resale value on its platform, which it determines by assigning scores that take into account a brand’s demand, virality, and value to the seller.
Frye — the leather goods company best known for its beloved boots — topped the list for the second year in a row.
Other notable brands with excellent resale value include fashion labels Tory Burch, Kate Spade, and Coach. Outdoor clothing brand Patagonia also made it into ThredUP’s top 10.
Resale platform Poshmark doesn’t assign brands a resale value, but it does release the most popular brands on the platform. Since March, the most popular brands haven’t been luxury brands per se but “mall brands.” For example, among the most bought brands purchased by women this year were Lululemon, Free People, Anthropologie and J Crew. Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and Patagonia were the most popular brands purchased by men on Poshmark.
For Poshmark shoppers, these brands signal comfort, affordability and widespread appeal.
On the list are luxury brands Hermès, Louis Vuiton, Goyard and Tffany & Co. For Hermès, the item that’s consistently held the highest resale value is the ultra pricey Hermès Birkin bag. A new Birkin bag can cost close to $10,000 all the way up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Meanwhile, Gucci, Fendi and Dior are the top three brands with the fastest growing resale value in the same time period, according to The RealReal.
Recycled fashion’s popularity is on the rise
Value isn’t the only driver, however. The ThreadUP report showed 80% of consumers no longer feel there is a stigma to buying used fashion. This has made them comfortable shopping for it, and flaunting their resale finds.
“There’s no doubt that millennials and Gen Z have accelerated this trend in the last few years. But now we’re seeing baby boomers and Gen X adopting it, too,” said James Reinhart, co-founder and CEO of ThredUp.
Reinhart said resale consumers now feel proud to shop for secondhand clothing because they have made it a priority to help reduce clothing waste.
The report estimates that If everyone bought one used item this year, it would save 5.7 billion pounds of carbon emissions, or the equivalent of taking half a million cars off the road for an entire year.
“When I zoom out and compare 2020 to 2019, what’s happened is that the resale market is no longer niche but has become mainstream,” said Reinhart. “Consumers are feeling a lot of pride that shopping resale is the right thing to do.”