Driven by Gen-Z, second-hand clothes are expected to make up 27% of the average resale buyer’s closet by 2023


A joint study by BCG and Vestiaire Collective reveals that the second-hand fashion and luxury market has tripled in size since 2020, with no signs of slowing down

PARIS, October 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The estimated value of the resale apparel, footwear and accessories market is between $100 and $120 billion worldwide, more than three times larger than in 2020, according to new research from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Vestiaire Collective, a global second-hand fashion platform. The report, titled What the Accelerating Secondhand Market Means for Fashion Brands and Retailers, comes out today.

The second-hand market already represents 3-5% of the entire clothing, footwear and accessories sector and could reach up to 40%. While resale products make up around a quarter of second-hand shoppers’ closets, they are expected to make up 27% of closets in 2023. Gen Z consumers are the most likely to buy (31%) and sell (44%) second-hand items. , with millennials right behind.

“At BCG, we have been analyzing the global resale market in detail since its inception,” said Sarah Willersdorf, global head of luxury at BCG and co-author of the report. “It is now certain that consumers have embraced the occasion and it is changing the way they buy and sell their clothes. There is a tremendous opportunity for brands entering this market to win new customers while attracting existing buyers. driven by sustainability, affordability and exclusivity.”

Durability is an increasingly important driving force for second-hand shoppers

The report is based on two global surveys of 6,000 consumers conducted in 2020 and 2,000 consumers in 2022, to better understand their engagement with the resale market. Although affordability was cited as the main driver for buying second-hand items by more than half of respondents, this trend is on the decline. Product variety was reported as the second driver of second-hand goods consumption. Forty percent of shoppers see second-hand as their way to sustainably consume fashion, and the same number choose the second-hand market for the wide selection and unique pieces it offers. The thrill of the hunt and the ability to barter with vendors are also increasingly popular factors in buying used clothing, with 35% of survey respondents citing them as their driving forces.

Sellers are motivated by wardrobe detox but discouraged by lack of time

Sixty percent of those selling second-hand items are looking to clean out their cabinets and free up space in their closets. This same number also said they were motivated to recover the residual value of their item and spend it on second-hand (39%) or first-hand (20%), or in general (39%).

If selling is a behavior increasingly adopted by buyers, not all buyers have themselves sold objects on the second-hand market. Thirty percent of non-sellers have something to sell but haven’t found the time to list their items. Instead of selling, 30% of respondents prefer to donate their items to friends or charities. A quarter of shoppers said they wouldn’t know what items they would sell from their wardrobes.

“Vestiaire Collective is the first global desirable second-hand fashion app created in 2009 with one mission: to transform the fashion industry for a more sustainable future,” said Fanny Moizant, co-founder and president of Vestiaire Collective. “We are proud to see that sustainability and environmental awareness are increasingly drivers for customers to buy and sell, but also for companies that want to integrate circularity into their business model. many possibilities for brands to explore this market, internally or with an external partner, collaborating with an established platform like Vestiaire Collective has significant advantages, including access to a community of more than 23 million consumers worldwide, as well as over a decade of expertise in data, pricing, logistics and execution.”

Succeed in the brave new world of resale

Nearly 60% of consumers discovered a brand or purchased it for the first time second-hand, underscoring the strong opportunity for brands to increase their reach to new customers by participating in the resale market.

The report outlines three models that brands or retailers should consider when entering the second-hand market.

  • Own and operate own resale capabilities: By reselling their own collections online and in-store, businesses can maintain control of their brand and pricing structure while earning twice a margin on the same item. But this approach can be resource-intensive, and customer reach can be limited, along with volume and inventory risk.
  • Partnership with a resale platform: This model offers a mutually beneficial solution. The platform handles logistics, payment processing, and product validation, while increasing retailer traffic, promotion, and credibility. For its part, the brand can resell its products, boost its notoriety, and acquire new customers at a lower cost without having to carry out the resale operation.
  • Explore resale without making a large investment or long-term commitment: This option involves giving a business partner modestly sized retail space in stores and developing rebate and incentive programs to resell used clothing to retailers. These lighter solutions help increase footfall and viewership, and allow gamers to participate in the circular economy while mitigating the risk of counterfeit products.

Download the publication here:

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Boston Consulting Group
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About Boston Consulting Group
Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to address their biggest challenges and seize their biggest opportunities. BCG pioneered business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we work closely with our clients to take a transformational approach to benefit all stakeholders, enabling organizations to grow, create a sustainable competitive advantage and have a positive societal impact.

Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives that challenge the status quo and spark change. BCG delivers solutions through cutting-edge management consulting, technology and design, and digital business and enterprise. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the business and across all levels of the client organization, fueled by the goal of helping our clients thrive and empowering them to make the world a better place.

About Vestiaire Collective
Vestiaire Collective is the world’s first desirable second-hand fashion app. He is dedicated to transforming the fashion industry for a more sustainable future by promoting the circular fashion movement as an alternative to the overproduction and overconsumption and wasteful practices of the fashion industry. Inspired by the “Long Live Fashion” philosophy, he provides his community – those who live for fashion and care for it for life – with inspiration, tools and features to lead change by selling and buying fashion. everyone’s pre-loved unique pieces. other people’s cabinets. The platform is unique thanks to its very engaged community and its rare and desirable inventory of 5 million items. Launched in Paris in 2009, Vestiaire Collective is a certified B Corporation® with offices in Paris, New York, Los Angeles, hong kong, Seoul, Singapore and a technology center at Berlin. To find out more, download the app, go to and follow @vestiaireco on Instagram.

SOURCEBoston Consulting Group (BCG)

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