Second Hand Will Be Bigger Than Fast Fashion By 2029



Gen Z is leading the change towards a sustainable future in which resale and secondhand are the new trend.


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According to the 2020 resale report from ThredUp, one of the main online resellers, the future of fashion is vintage.  It looks like secondhand market is about to reclaim its first place outselling the fast - fashion industry. The report cites statistical information from the analytics firm GlobalData to support its conclusions.

The beginning of the shift is dated in 2019, when resale grew 25 times faster (49%) than the retail sector that only grew 2% that year. Due to the economic uncertainty that came along with the pandemic, more consumers will prefer thrifting. They adopted a new hobby: mending clothes, DIYing and it is expected to continue in the future.  Thus, resale is expected to be bigger than fast – fashion by 2029 and total secondhand market is projected to grow to almost twice the size of retail by the same year.


 “The next normal has started to emerge, with consumers indicating they will adapt long – term behavioral changes that will last beyond Covid”, McKinsey & Company, as quoted by ThredUp.



The trend is leaded by Gen Z closely followed by Millennials. “Young consumers are adopting secondhand fashion faster than any other age group”, states the report.  Gen Z prioritizes sustainability. They are aware of the conditions fast – fashion workers live at, and they know how harmful over – production and waste are for the planet. 80% says there is no stigma to buying used fashion and 90% are open to buying secondhand when money gets tight.


The Covid pandemic was a turning point for fashion. Lockdowns and the virus itself were an eye opener for many. Brands who contributed positively to those in need during Covid are receiving bigger support from customers. 70% of them agree that addressing climate change is more important than ever and plan to shift their spend to sustainable brands.

Industry experts agree that fast – fashion is doomed to fail. The Wall Street Journal says: “Bargain hunting, environmental concerns and the sharing economy have erased the stigma of used goods at the same time technology has made thrift shopping more accessible, reliable and cool.”


“The ‘normal’ of the past is not working for so many people in this country. It’s not working for our planet. It’s not working for our economy. We’ve got to work to find another way. We can do better.” – James Reinhart,Co-founder and CEO, thredUP


Fashion revolution is here. It’s time to get our priorities in order and for big brands to be held accountable by their actions. Resale is better for the planet and for the pocket, so retail has to get its act together and focus on what really matters if it wants to keep going.


 +  Words: Ane Briones, Luxiders Magazine 

Journalism graduate | Basque Country based writer

IG: @anebriones