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Sustainable Secondhand Fashion is Booming

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

Did you know that the textile industry generates more carbon emissions than the airline and maritime industries combined? So, it's good news that a number of e-tailers are enabling the resale of pre-loved items to a rapidly expanding number of people seeking a bargain that combines common sense with sustainability.

The used clothing market is projected to more than triple in value in the next few years, and secondhand purchases could play an important role in cleaning up the clothing industry for good. Particularly the highly wasteful throw-away world of fast fashion.

When it comes to secondhand clothing, the industry is made up of two primary avenues: high street charity stores and resale platforms. And it's these resale platforms that are really driving growth. Obviously, there's the likes of eBay, but it's peer to peer platforms, like Poshmark (calling itself the 'largest social marketplace for fashion'), that are leading the way by allowing fashion fiends to easily sell and buy goods with their counterparts anywhere in the world.

Other direct online retailers, like TheRealReal and Thredup, are also booming as they offer an organized online shopping experience for those who want to buy used, but might not have the time or energy to search through charity store racks.

These easy secondhand shopping options appeal to customers because they're not only an option for more sustainable shopping, but they're also a way of acquiring higher quality goods at a lower price tag.

Lower quality production, combined with lower prices, means that the average wear time for an item of clothing is decreasing while pollution and emissions run wild. These secondhand fashion platforms are making shopping for pre-worn items as easy as possible and, always, cheaper than buying new.

If you haven’t explored online secondhand clothing yet, why not give it a go? It will save you money and help save the planet.

If you don't like the idea of buying secondhand online, and you live in London, you will be delighted to hear that Selfridges has just launched its Project Earth initiative which aims to change the way we consume within the next five years and one of the biggest focuses is reselling. It calls it 'ReSellfridges' and aims to make it "easier than ever for customers to shop pre-loved, vintage or archive clothing and accessories."

Also, in Berlin, a store within a store has been established right in the heart of the famous Karstadt department store in order to reach beyond the normal demographic of secondhand shoppers. The whole idea is to stop the “throw away culture,” and promote re-use and repair. The store also includes an education centre to encourage more sustainable lifestyles.


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