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U.S. second-hand market to reach 77 billion dollars in the next five years

By Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez

28 Jun 2021

Within the next five years, the second-hand apparel market is expected to reach 77 billion dollars, according to a new report. Analysts say that a convergence of driving forces are making shoppers “think second-hand first”.

A new research by ThredUp based on GlobalData’s findings confirms the U.S. consumers’ preference for more sustainable fashion choices. The report found that a record 33 million people bought second-hand clothing and accessories for the first time in 2020. Of these first-time buyers, 76 percent plan on increasing their share of resale purchases in the next five years. “Consumers are prioritising sustainability, retailers are starting to embrace resale,” commented thredUP co-founder and CEO James Reinhart. “We are in the early stages of a radical transformation in retail.”

Currently, the U.S. second-hand market is valued at 36 billion dollars, with market analysts forecasting it’s going to grow 11-times faster compared to the retail clothing sector to reach the projected 77 billion dollars.

Financial woes and a growing conscience regarding environment’s protection are the key drivers behind this growth. According to the survey, 1 in 3 shoppers say they care more about sustainable apparel now than in pre-pandemic times, with 51 percent of consumers polled explaining how they are now more opposed to environmental waste overall.