Once reserved for charity shops and flea markets, secondhand fashion has found a new lease of life. According to thredUP’s 2021 report on resale, the secondhand market is expected to double from $36 billion this year to a button-popping $77 billion by 2025. Over the past three years, reselling has grown 21 times faster than the actual retail apparel market.
While resale sites have been around since the dawn of the internet — eBay launched in 1995 — the boom really took off in 2020 when the pandemic flipped the retail world on its head and provided perfect conditions for growth. Now, the selling platforms are rushing to cash in, while brands are scrambling to get involved to appeal to changing consumer habits that look set to stay long after the pandemic is over.
Over the last couple of years, there have been several signs in the markets indicating the rise in resale and increasing investor appetite. In late 2020, popular consumer reseller marketplace StockX raised $275 million at a valuation of approximately $2.8 billion, fueling speculation that it will file for an IPO later this year.