Second Hand Fashion Fulfillment
January 04, 2021
Second hand fashion on the riseA decade or more of globalization and digitization mixed with a pandemic in 2020 has changed shopping in a big way. Many new shopping trends, most prominently the shift to online retail, were accelerated due to the pandemic. However, changes related to fashion retail, especially second hand fashion, were underway before the onset of COVID-19.
A steady rise in conscious consumerism, interest in unique styles, and lower prices have given pre-owned fashion a boost in popularity in recent years. These factors, paired with the fact that fashion needs in 2020 differed from historical trends, people spent more time and were more considerate of their budgets, and many had more time on their hands to explore new interests, meant that the second hand apparel market got a lot of attention than it as in the past.
Just how fast is the second hand fashion market growing? According to Statista, It was measured at just 11 billion in 2011, grew to 28 billion by 2019, and is on the fast track to reach a whopping 64 billion by 2024. In addition to consumer surveys that indicate increasing interest in second hand apparel or at least a willingness to purchase second hand, major retailers — Levi’s, for example, among others — have launched “recommerce” sites specifically designed to sell used apparel. Threadup, a popular used clothing marketplace, predicts second hand fashion sales will grow 69% in 2021 alone.
Second hand fashion selling points
As mentioned, there are a few motivating factors driving the popularity of pre-owned fashion. Millennials and younger generations currently account for the bulk of second hand shoppers, and in addition to being conscious of their spending, this group is also very aware of the environmental impact of fashion production. While second hand fashion’s biggest draw is lower prices, sustainability ranks second in it’s allure. Other draws include the possibility of purchasing high-end pieces and exclusive designer names at a lower prices and finding unique styles.
Who is buying pre-owned apparel?Let’s take a deeper dive into demographics and buying behavior related to second hand fashion.
- Millenials make up 30% of the global population and are becoming the most significant group for consumer spending growth. They have spending power, an interest in apparel, and are conscious of sustainability and cost.
- Historically, the Middle East and Africa have dominated as global leaders in second hand apparel consumption, importing used clothing from the U.S. and Europe. Recently, Europe has demonstrated a strong interest in second hand luxury goods and according to Bain & Company, luxury brands are exploring second hand markets as an entry point to gain and nurture younger customers in Europe and the U.S. “in part to address emerging sustainability concerns.” While the market for second hand fashion in Asia lags behind other regions due to skepticism and cultural factors that can devalue used goods, interest in pre-owned fashion and especially high-end vintage pieces is growing steadily in Japan. That interest has some influence in China as well, and Singapore-based second hand marketplaces, Carousell, aims to accelerate consignment shopping in Southeast Asia.
- Retailers in the second hand apparel market are looking to shift their focus from brick-and-mortar stores to online retail, where the introduction and growth of resale platforms offers greater product visibility and a wider audience. This translates to more sales opportunities, especially as ecommerce continues to grow.
Operations to support your fashion fulfillment and returnsFashion is an industry that is constantly changing and Ingram Micro has the infrastructure and operational experience to handle all the high SKU counts, inventory accuracy and complexity requirements necessary to successfully ship apparel, footwear and accessories. We’ve helped household brands like ASOS successfully grow their businesses through seamless order fulfillment.
We also offer a robust reverse logistics solution and a variety of value-added services to manage online returns, which are common with ecommerce apparel orders. You can see some of our apparel returns operations here.
Read more about our apparel fulfillment services or contact us to talk about your specific needs.
Michelle HawesMichelle Hawes is the Global Event Manager at Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services focusing on industry events and tradeshows. She is passionate about creating a seamless, engaging event experience. In her free time, Michelle enjoys playing golf & tennis, traveling, and her rescue pup named Abby.
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Michelle Hawes 2021-01-04