The Rise of the Resale Market: The Landscape Inside the Fashion Industry’s New Mindset

Fernando Aguileta de la Garza Resale Fashion Market + ELLE Education Business
The clear changes in consumers habits, their relationship with ownership and buying behaviour has challenged fashion’s business models. The circular economy perspective is gaining followers in the market beyond a simple trend. Are we ready to close the loop?
ELLE Education Business
TopicResale Maket / Fashion Resale / Fashion Industry

The second-hand market is expected to hit $64B in 2024, overtaking the tradition thrift and donation segment, according to Thredup’s Annual Resale Report in partnership with GlobalData. Forbes Magazine predicted that by 2025, resale of fashion goods, such as sneakers and other collectibles, could reach $6B in sales.

With these numbers at hand, there is no doubt the resale market is tremendously blooming thanks to Internet and digital ventures through all fashion segments. It is not only a shift inside the consumer’s process of product acquisition equation, it is a rediscovery of the value of things made to last, at least longer, and completely opposed to fashion’s rapid obsolescence.

Resale, vintage fashion, or the second-hand market are not new concepts, however, its hybrid approach with technology certainly is. In the last decade several platforms and online consignments have grown a selective or massive clientele willing to buy, trade, or sell their clothing. 

In this context, with the ease of e-commerce, peer-to-peer exchanges, or even auction services, the consumer has found a valuable offer of clothing and accessories to buy compared to the full-price market. Additionally, when consuming second-hand, the customers are cultivating a responsible commitment to sustainability and curbing wasteful consumption.


According to researcher, Kirsi Niinimäki, leader of the Fashion/Textiles Futures research group in Finland’s Aalto University, a circular economy approach in the fashion industry “aims to develop a more sustainable and closed-loop system where the goal is to extend the use- time of garments and maintain the value of the products and materials as long as possible”.

In the circular economy it is necessary to take a system perspective on fashion’s valuable supply chain, including all members as designers, producers, manufacturers, business entrepreneurs and of course, the customer. 

Optimisation of use, or utilisation of manufactured goods is at the core of the circular economy’s perspective, as opposed to the traditional focus on the optimisation of the production of the objects up to the point of sale as new items; a straightforward goal in sustainable development. 

The new models of production and consumption regarding circularity involve concepts such as sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials or products as long as possible. With this approach, the life cycle of products is extended and in fact, we are encouraging to reduce waste to a minimum. 

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