Is The Growth Of The SecondHand Market A Threat To The Mainstream Fashion Industry?


The world has been witnessing the rise of secondhand markets recently, and its global valuation is spinning heads. With years, the secondhand industry’s market trends say that it will double at the fastest growth rate. Among the list of secondhand markets, the clothing or used apparel market is witnessing the highest growth. Since the demand for used clothes is increasing worldwide, the future of this industry is very predictable.

A few decades ago, thrifting was viewed with narrow eyes, judging a person on their affordability, but today, it is the fastest-growing business. Thrift shopping is the new fashion trend among youngsters, and they find nothing wrong with that. You can opt for wholesale used clothing from the best brands and upgrade your wardrobes with fashion from worldwide. 

The SecondHand Market And Its Rise To Prominence

A few years ago, people hardly recognized there was a market such as the secondhand market. Or perhaps, it has existed for centuries but has never been popularized as they are today. According to various studies and surveys, buying used products was most popular in the 19th century. However, most buyers of these markets were people from the working class or the proletariat (or the middle class). People who purchased used products were judged by society as poor, and it was definitely not a thing for the elite.

Considering the scenario today, fashion is no longer classified into the poor or the rich; the only aim is to look fashionable and explore more styles. Today, people are more concerned about what they are supposed to be; they care about the quality, the materials, the creativity, and the durability of the products. This is why thrift shopping is no longer necessary for the poor but for people from all communities. 

The secondhand apparel industry has succeeded in bringing global communities and fashion together. That is why the collection of second hand markets is so unique because they have been collected from different communities, regions, and countries.

Today, the global market value of secondhand apparel has risen to USD 71,225.6 million and is expected to grow further at a rate of 14.6% in the upcoming years. In the upcoming years, it will thrive to double or triple its valuation according to the experts. 

A Threat To The Mainstream Fashion Industry?

It would be wrong to say that the secondhand apparel market directly threatens the mainstream fashion industry. Even if the valuation of the secondhand apparel market is increasing globally, and is expected to grow further in size in the upcoming years, it is, in fact, not a massive threat. 

Firstly, the customers of both markets are different. The customers of the fast fashion industry are ready to pay for brand-new fashion and are more drawn toward brands. These customers will stick to their preferences because of their own moral values and the urge to buy everything brand-new. Therefore, the customers relying on the production of the mainstream fashion industry are to remain glued. 

Similarly, the customers of secondhand apparel belong to a different category; they seek good quality products at reasonable prices. They are bothered about thrift shopping because they are most concerned about the budget. People who love thrift shopping proudly assert they love to buy used clothes because they can see hardly any difference, and the price tags are always suitable for the budget.

Therefore, the mainstream clothing industry and the secondhand apparel industry operate parallelly, but there is one chain that connects them. The mainstream clothing industry directly or indirectly supplies the secondhand market. A person who has bought a new dress gives it to thrift stores for people who want to wear it. This is a cycle, and undoubtedly, without the mainstream fashion industry, the secondhand market will not exist.

On the other hand, the secondhand apparel industry is helping the fast fashion industry a lot, but how? By reducing their cloth wastage and slowing the rate of production. Factory discards, or the pieces of clothing that fail to sell online or in the store, are passed on to secondhand clothing markets. Hence, both these industries have huge market values and are connected but will remain to lead in their domains in the upcoming future. 

5 Benefits Of Considering Secondhand Clothing

The secondhand market is growing because it shares a lot of benefits with people worldwide. A large proportion of the secondhand industry is occupied by the used clothing market, which is also among the fastest-growing markets worldwide. When you become a part of the global secondhand clothing community, you get these five benefits: 

Great Opportunity To Upgrade Wardrobes

Secondhand fashion gives you the best opportunity to upgrade your wardrobes. From the latest to vintage apparel, the collections you see are the most versatile. Since second hand clothing collections come worldwide, you get to witness unique blends of styles and designs and the unique ones.

Sustainable Fashion

Secondhand clothing is sustainable because it proves that a piece of cloth can be reused several times. This is, in fact, a great way of reducing cloth wastage and lowering the need to produce new pieces. Thus, investing in second hand clothing is good for nature. 


The tags on luxury brands are sometimes too overwhelming, but second hand clothing markets have brought luxury brands to fit everyone’s budget. For those who wish to save more and at the same time explore the fashion from around the world, secondhand clothing is just for them. 

Valuing Creativity

Most thrift stores you visit online or in person have the best, eye-catching collections. They also give a lot of effort into creativity by re-shaping and re-designing a few of their collections. Also, youngsters do thrift shopping because they wish to give their outfits and accessories a personal touch; they customize them accordingly. 

Supporting Small Businesses And Communities

When you switch to thrift shopping, know that you are supporting a global community involved in collecting, sorting out, folding, and packaging clothes. These are usually small communities and businesses trying to thrive in the competitive market. Therefore, whenever you buy used apparel, you save small businesses and, at the same time, nature. 

Final Thoughts

If you are someone who wishes to upgrade their wardrobes with the most versatile fashion, starting from the 90s to the latest designer sets, the secondhand clothing market brings you closer to the dream. The best part about buying secondhand clothes is they are available at wholesale rates, which is always 40 to 60% less than the original price on the tag. 

The secondhand clothing market is booming, and in the upcoming years, it will help the mainstream fashion industry focus on producing durable clothing that can be thrifted multiple times.



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