May 18, 2022
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U.S. secondhand market to double by 2026: ThredUp

May 18, 2022

Online resale platform ThredUp launched on Tuesday the results of its 2022 'Resale Report' revealing that secondhand shopping is becoming a global phenomenon led by North America. 

The global secondhand apparel market will grow 127% by 2026 – more than 3 times faster than the global apparel market overall - Facebook: ThredUp

This year's report, released in partnership with GlobalData, shows that the global secondhand apparel market will grow 127% by 2026 – more than 3 times faster than the global apparel market overall.

The growth is being spearheaded by U.S. consumers with the U.S. secondhand market expected to more than double by 2026, reaching $82 billion. That follows a record growth year in 2021 for secondhand, up 32%.

It's technology and online marketplaces that are driving the growth of the U.S. secondhand market, according to the report. In fact, 50% of total secondhand dollars are expected to come from online resale by 2024.

The growth also comes as inflation continues to worry consumers. Among respondents, 58% of consumers say secondhand has helped them in some way during a time of inflation. Looking ahead, 25% of consumers say they'll consider buying more secondhand products if prices in apparel, footwear, and accessories keep rising.

And with consumers embracing secondhand shopping, so are brands. Brands with resale shops increased 275% in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the Recommerce 100. Among retail executives who currently offer resale, 88% say it's helping drive revenue.

"The last 10 years of resale were dominated by marketplaces, but brands and retailers are driving the next wave of secondhand. We're still in the very beginning of this trend, but the acceleration of resale adoption is a positive signal with enormous benefits for the planet, ” said James Reinhart, ThredUp CEO and co-founder. 

With more consumers turning to secondhand shopping, resale is proving to be a powerful solution to the fashion industry's wastefulness. Secondhand displaced nearly one billion new clothing purchases in 2021, and nearly 2 in 3 consumers believe their individual consumption habits have a significant impact on the planet.

"Resale has emerged from the pandemic in an extremely strong position,” added Neil Saunders, managing director, GlobalData.

“More consumers are shopping secondhand, growth has accelerated, and the interest from traditional retailers has soared. The economic outlook remains uncertain, but with inflation driving apparel prices higher and higher, more shoppers appear to be turning to secondhand to make their budgets stretch further."

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