If you pay attention to fashion trends, you’ll know that this season is going to be huge for… well, pretty much the same as the season before it and the one before that.
This is because fashion trends are simply a marketing ploy as old as the hills, providing a sparkly temporal wrapper for style motifs we’ve seen time and time again. However, one trend that is most certainly new and gathering pace is that of “recommerce”. This involves consumers buying used products from dedicated providers and marketplaces, or even renting luxury products from specialist companies.
This is a counter to the fast fashion, mass consumption model of the past two decades that has formed a cycle of consumption that is unsustainable both environmentally and for those working in the industry. According to a report by Global Fashion Agenda, if the population rises as expected, overall consumption of apparel is set to increase from 62m tons in 2018 to 102m tons in 2030.
As consumers begin to reconsider their relationship with clothing and their impact on the environment, the way they view sustainability is also changing. A recent survey by Inc revealed that 66 per cent of global consumers are willing to spend more on sustainable goods. As a result of this new perspective on fashion, the recommerce market is gaining dominance within the industry and ThredUP forecasts it will be worth £31.4bn by 2022.
Positioned as a more considerate approach to shopping, the resale market is making its mark on both high street and luxury retailing. Although it is predominantly fuelled by online channels, we are seeing bricks-and-mortar spaces emerge in leading cities to fulfil growing demand. Among them is curated reseller app Depop, which opened its first physical store in Los Angeles in 2018, hosting pop-ups led by popular sellers alongside workshops on how to source, sell and photograph vintage fashion.
If the rise of the conscious, sustainable consumer continues to fuel the recommerce trend then we could ultimately see the resale market begin to put real pressure on fast-fashion and then things will start to look very interesting.