"We are still in the earliest days of reinventing how resale can reduce the ongoing production excess in the apparel industry, and I don't see a world where we're going back to the way it used to be."
James Reinhart, thredUP CEO
In the U.S., resale ballooned five times as much as the traditional retail clothing sector. For every three apparel items purchased by U.S. consumers last year, one was secondhand.
The global secondhand apparel market is expected to hit $350 billion (nearly two times its current size of $177 billion) by 2027, and the U.S. will own $70 billion of that share.
On April 5, online secondhand clothing retailer thredUP released the 2023 Resale Report, the report authors expect that shoppers who are completely new to secondhand will drive 60% of the U.S. growth.
And that growth is happening despite our current economic climate - 63% of shoppers have increased their clothing spending because of inflation. thredUP predicts online resale will hit $38 billion by 2027 and eclipse offline thrift and donation as the preferred way to acquire secondhand apparel within the next year.
More than a third of 50 U.S. retailers surveyed for the report said if resale proves a worthy investment for them they'd decrease production of new items.
The top five reasons found by the report were value, quality, selection, convenience and transparency.
For the Gen Z segment, sustainability was a top reason. About 64% of Gen Z shoppers search for an item secondhand first before turning to new.
Source: thredUP & GlobalData 2023 Resale Report