The effects of high inflation over the past year continue to impact consumer trends, as more shoppers stray away from what’s traditionally been considered fashionable. Today’s consumer shows a strong preference for affordable clothing brands over premium names.
Some of the most popular brands right now, based on resale value, are Madewell, Zara (IDEXY), Urban Outfitters and Free People (URBN), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), and Levi’s (LEVI). Comparatively, consumers aren’t as interested in Prada (PRDSF), Gucci (PPRUY), or Louis Vuitton (LVMUY) — even when they are on sale.
Two Main Benefits
In general, re-worn clothing — thrift, secondhand, or upcycled apparel shopping — is a quickly growing market. With the surging popularity of sites like Depop (ETSY) and Poshmark (POSH), it is projected to reach $70 billion in sales by 2027. As many as 75% of all shoppers say they’re open to buying secondhand clothing. For the younger Gen Z, this percentage jumps to 83%.
The desire to purchase used clothes is two-pronged. On one hand, it’s a great way to save money amid the most challenging inflation in decades. On the other, buying secondhand helps consumers shop sustainably and reduce the high levels of waste associated with the clothing industry.
Brands have taken notice of this trend. Many clothing companies have started offering their own resale programs — as many as 88, according to a GlobalData report, which marks a nearly 250% increase from 2021. This gives consumers the option to buy secondhand products directly from the brand, instead of a third party.
Notably, the decision by consumers to rock secondhand clothes now comes with a sense of pride. In the past, it was cool to wear the most expensive brands. But, these days, it’s more stylish to flex your budget than to stretch it.
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