The Pre-Loved Fashion Explosion

It's moving from niche to mainstream as retailers join the fray.

Whether they want to save the planet or money (probably both), young fashionistas are turning to secondhand bargains to fill their wardrobes. Some call the clothing pre-loved, others vintage, and yet more, secondhand. Whatever you call it, that's really good news, and the market is exploding.


Did you know that the textile industry generates more carbon emissions than the airline and maritime industries combined? That's why, last year, fashion mega-star Giorgio Armani quit the fast fashion industry, saying: "I don't want to work like this anymore, it's immoral."


So, it's good news that this trend is catching on and that the number of e-tailers enabling the resale of pre-loved items to a rapidly expanding number of people seeking a bargain, that combines common sense with sustainability, is growing fast.


On eBay, sales of “pre-loved” fashion and homewares have shot up in the UK over the past year, with the company selling more than 60 million used items. Murray Lambell, general manager of eBay’s UK business, said: “There is definitely a change in mindset, driven by younger consumers up to the age of 30.”


While fashion-conscious teens have been trading previously owned fashion on sites such as Vinted for several years, older age groups are now tuning into the market too and are increasingly likely to be persuaded by secondhand bargains because they are moving out of traditional charity shops and into mid-market mainstream stores, says The Guardian.


London department store Selfridges is betting on a boom in re-sales. It has 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. Indeed, the idea is that 'Resellfridges' will make it "easier than ever for customers to shop pre-loved, vintage or archive clothing and accessories."


Asda announced last week that it is testing out secondhand clothing in 50 supermarkets, and John Lewis and Ikea are launching schemes to sell used furniture and fashion. At fashion website Asos, vintage sales have risen 92 percent.


Asda’s move into vintage shows that secondhand “has the potential to go mainstream”, according to Emily Salter at retail analyst GlobalData. Salter believes pre-owned is unlikely to become more popular than buying new items soon and thinks it is “definitely becoming a more important part of how consumers purchase”.


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.