One may not need charts and graphs at this point to know that, in the past couple of years especially, the buying and selling of used clothes has become mainstream. Any stigma that once came with thrifting pre-worn goods has practically disappeared. Thredup, Poshmark and The Real Real have all gone public. The concept has been proven.
Still, for the past five years, Thredup has been tracking and projecting the growth of the secondhand clothing market, releasing annual reports conducted in partnership with third-party research and analytics firm GlobalData. The company just released its 2021 Resale Report, complete with plenty of staggering figures — it's still one of the fastest-growing segments of retail, projected to double to $77 billion by 2025 — as well as some new insights on how resale fares when there's a global pandemic. (As Thredup predicted one year ago, it fares quite well.)
Evidently, the pandemic birthed millions of new secondhand shoppers: 33 million consumers bought secondhand apparel for the first time in 2020. And according to surveys, 76% of those first-timers plan to increase their spend on secondhand in the next five years. In other words, the pandemic may have helped accelerate the growth of fashion resale even further. It also created more resellers: There were an estimated 36.2 million first-time sellers in 2020.