Second-hand fashion is a growing trend

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The sale of second-hand fashion is an emerging business. It is also a sustainable way to buy clothes, as it helps to reduce pollution by giving clothes a second life instead of dumping them in a landfill.

Photo by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash

Hey and welcome back to my blog! For a few weeks now, I have written about different types of sustainable fashion, such as sustainable brands and recycling. This week’s blog post is about my favorite kind of sustainable fashion, namely second-hand. Initially, I wanted to write the entire blog about second-hand fashion. However, I was also very interested in the other areas, so I decided to broaden my focus a bit. But here we go! First of all, I would like to mention that for a long time, I was very skeptical about second-hand fashion. And of course, it is always nice to have something brand-new.
Nevertheless, I realized that second-hand fashion could also be very cool, or sometimes even better than the fast-fashion collection that everyone wears anyway. I experienced this recently during a trip abroad. I always love to combine sight-seeing and shopping, so I usually check in advance not only the sights but also the shopping possibilities. And I was honestly overwhelmed by the thrift shops and the excellent quality of their offers! I always thought this was not for me, but I was definitely wrong! And the best part is that you can shop with a clean conscience.

Interesting facts about second-hand fashion
I guess everyone understands the term second-hand and knows what it means. But some of you might be unsure about the potential of reselling used clothes – right? Especially in Switzerland, second-hand fashion is probably not as common as in other countries. However, the countless articles in magazines, newspapers, and social media let us conclude that this trend has also arrived in Switzerland. So let me share with you some impressive figures about the potential of second-hand fashion. The world’s leading online thrift shop thredUp from the US publishes an annual report on trends in resale. And I must admit that I did not expect the second-hand business to be so successful in the fashion industry. According to the Resale Report 2019, 56 million women bought second-hand fashion in 2018. This represents an increase of 27% compared to the previous year. Current sales are expected to increase from USD 24 billion to USD 51 billion by 2023.
Furthermore, it is projected that in ten years the second-hand sales will be 1.5 times as high as the fast-fashion sales. This movement is mainly driven by millennials. About 33% of the second-hand buyers are between 25-37 years old. The main reason for the rapid increase in sales of second-hand fashion is sustainability. 72% of surveyed consumers prefer to buy environmentally friendly clothes. And besides, the resale of a garment reduces its carbon footprint by up to 80%. When analyzing these figures, it becomes clear that the resale business has great potential. If you want to learn more about it, you can get the full report here.

Why you should buy second-hand fashion
What do you think about second-hand fashion? Are you not yet fully convinced? Watch my short video about five reasons why second-hand fashion is great!

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About Author

anjaoetterli

Working student, MSc in Online Business and Marketing. Curious about sustainable business models in the fashion industry.

18 Comments

  1. Veronica

    I love this post Anja! Vintage and second-hand shopping is one of my favourite hobbies forall the reasons you mentioned in your lovely video. Over the years I collected so many unique pieces, my favourite is a cashmere & wool coat for only 7.-! I could spend hours browing in this kind of shops. You know another side of second hand shopping that I love? Books! I know a second-hand shop that has a room full of books and since I love reading everytime I go there I come back home with 10 new books. It takes time, but over the years I found all the books that were on my wishlist, and onl for 1/2 francs instead of 20!

    • anjaoetterli
      anjaoetterli on

      Thank you Vero! Happy to hear this! I think it is just amazing what “treasures” you can find in second-hand shops. I agree it takes more time when shopping but as you said, you can find really great pieces at incredible prices. What a great idea! I never thought of buying second-hand books. I have to try it out!

  2. Eszter Németh

    Hi Anja!
    I personally prefer to buy second hand and or upcycled pieces so I knew I would like your post from the beginning.
    The video is a super fun way to show some convincing points about why we should consider buying secondhand, I liked that!
    My favourite Hungarian brand screenprints unique designs on secondhand clothes this way making the pieces even more attractive to customers! I think it’d also be fun to do it to your own secondhand clothes giving them a whole new life after purchasing them.

    • anjaoetterli
      anjaoetterli on

      Hey Eszter, thank you so much for your comment! I am happy you like it. And even happier you like second-hand fashion! I haven’t heard of screenprints before but it sounds like they have a great concept! I will check it out! Thanks for the hint 🙂

  3. Olivier della Valle
    Olivier della Valle on

    Yes!! Love this post. I’m a big fan of vintage and second-hand fashion. There’s something about owning a piece that went through some history before. Also, this greatly reduces the impact on the environment and gives fashion a second (or third) chance with somebody new. And, with everyone getting rid of their old junk (e.g. Marie Kondo-ing), there’s some GREAT finds out there!

    • anjaoetterli
      anjaoetterli on

      Thank you Olivier 🙂 I agree! This is simply a great way to reduce waste and give clothes a new life. Personally, I find that such garments have a much higher emotional value for me than fast fashion clothes.

  4. What a cute and insightful video, Anja. I also first thought that secondhand fashion is not for me but when I realized I had too many clothes I started selling some of them on flea markets or online on Kleiderkreisel and it just felt good to give clothes a new home and earn a bit of money with it. Here in Switzerland I love going to the Brockenhaus or Marta Flohmarkt – they sometimes have really cool pieces (also very good for a student budget).

    • anjaoetterli
      anjaoetterli on

      Hey Katharina, thank you so much for your comment. So nice to hear! I am planning to write about where to buy and where to sell second-hand fashion as well. I will check-out Kleiderkreisel then. Oh yes, Marta Flohmarkt is definitely one of my favorites too. Have you ever been to the flea market at Neubad? This is also great!

  5. Karen Paz

    I really like this post, I have no idea about second hand until I was living in Berlin. Berlin is famous for the Flohmarkets, and since I discovered them, I love buying second hand.

    • anjaoetterli
      anjaoetterli on

      Thank you Karen for your comment! I am happy you like my post 🙂 Same here! I didn’t know anything about it. It is just a great way to buy fashion!

  6. Margherita Valle
    Margherita Valle on

    So cool post Anja! I like buying second-hand especially in Italy, I have discovered so many small boutiques full of hidden gems. What I enjoy the most about it is that every week you can find a different assortment and each piece is unique. Of course, I also like getting bargains when shopping second-hand. Do you have any vintage shop here in Luzern to recommend? 🙂

    • anjaoetterli
      anjaoetterli on

      Hey Margherita, thank you very much! I am happy to hear that you like second-hand fashion. I will mention one or two second-hand stores in Lucerne in my next post 🙂

  7. Stella

    Hey Anja, great post!! I would love to hear about more where to buy second hand fashion in Switzerland 🙂

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