From cast-offs to must-haves, ThredUp's 11th annual Resale Report offers all the usual insights into the brands most in demand in the secondhand market. But it also provides a closer look at the astonishingly large resale market, proving how deeply many committed people are to powering the circular economy.
The latest research from the reseller reports that more than half of consumers shopped for secondhand apparel in 2022. It also finds that one in three items of clothing purchased in the last 12 months were previously owned.
The company now projects the secondhand apparel market in the U.S. will hit $70 billion by 2027, with the global market expected to reach $350 billion. In the U.S., those sales are growing three times faster than the new clothing market.
It anticipates that online resale, growing at twice the rate of the total resale market, will top $38 billion.
Overall, 75% of the more than 3,000 respondents say they are open to buying clothes secondhand. Among Gen Z shoppers, that rises to 83%. Among Gen Z-ers who shop used, two of every five items in their closet were purchased secondhand.
And while sustainability is definitely on the minds of the many retailers offering used items, it's mainly about the money. Value continues to be the primary purchase driver, followed by quality.
Lululemon is the most in-demand brand for budget-conscious shoppers, followed by Madewell. For mid-tier consumers, Anthropologie wins, followed by Longchamp. And for the most affluent, Tory Burch tops the list, followed by Johnny Was.
Overall, Torrid, Lululemon, Madewell, Zara and Free People are the top brands.
Some of the hottest items? Dr. Martens boots, Fjallraven Backpack, Gap overalls and Patagonia vests.
The research, conducted by GlobalData, also includes the 50 largest fashion brands and retailers, with 86% saying they are already participating in the circular economy. Many run their own resale programs, while others contract with a third party. Just over 80% say they expect resale to generate a return on investment
"Resale is starting to blossom globally, with many of the largest retailers in the world adopting more circular business models," says ThredUp's chief executive officer James Reinhart in the report. "It's clear we're on a promising trajectory, and by working together through collective action, we have the power to alter fashion's future for the better."