Without a doubt the pre-owned fashion market is thriving. With the cost of living crisis and concerns around sustainability, consumers are turning to the second hand market. Research conducted by eBay Ads UK found that out of 1000 consumers, a quarter bought second-hand fashion in 2021. Searches for ‘upcycled’ rose 40% in January 2022 compared with the previous month, while searches related to ‘second hand’ increased by 24%. To tap into this market will brands start making clothing for resale?
Will Brands Start Making Clothing For Resale?
It is well known that a lot of brands make some of their products specifically for designer villages/ outlets. I don’t think that it will be long before they start tapping in to the resale market. Resale is the fastest growing market in fashion at the moment but it still only accounts for around 5%, so there is huge potential for growth.
Some brands like Oscar De La Renta, Coach, Gucci and Valentino have all moved into resale. Obviously this is in part because of the increasing market, but also to raise their sustainability credentials. Are they doing it as a marketing exercise? While it is great that brands want to increase the life of clothing they need to be producing less fashion to really make a difference.
If moving into resale is successful for brands I wonder whether they will use products in this area that would have otherwise ended up at a designer outlet. Some brands are very successful at outlets and the profit from this area makes up a huge amount of their business. They may see resale as an extension of that.
I really hope that brands won’t start making products specifically for resale and if they do I don’t think they will be drawing our attention to it. It would be great if they instead consider their overall impact and employ circular initiatives. They could run schemes where consumers can return worn garments to the brand who then buy them back. The brand can then refurbish the item and resell which would be a brilliant way to ensure the garment has a second, third or even fourth life.