- More teens say they’re buying and selling clothing secondhand, according to Piper Sandler’s latest “Taking Stock With Teens” survey.
- Thrift stores and secondhand e-commerce marketplaces are taking market share away from off-price retailers like TJ Maxx as well as major department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom.
- The resale market is exploding as awareness around fashion’s impact on the environment grows.
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Teens are embracing secondhand clothing.
According to the latest version of Piper Sandler’s semiannual “Taking Stock With Teens” survey, young Americans are buying more from thrift stores and secondhand marketplaces like Depop, Poshmark, The RealReal, Tradesy, ThredUp, and Mercari than they have in the past.
About 46% of teens from upper-income households surveyed by Piper Sandler said they have purchased clothing secondhand, while 58% have sold their used clothing to others.
The trend has picked up significantly since earlier this year, especially among female teens.
The last time Piper Sandler conducted its survey, in the spring of 2020, 13% of male teens from upper-income households said they had tried a secondhand e-commerce platform, while 37% of upper-income female teens said the same. This fall, though, that number rose to 18% for males, while the number of upper-income females who say they have tried resale platforms grew to 40%.
Thrift and consignment stores also ranked No. 13 as upper-income teens’ favourite brand or retailer, compared to No. 44 for fall 2019’s survey.
Piper Sandler surveyed 9,800 teens with an average age of 15.8 across 48 states to compile its report. The average household income of respondents surveyed was $US67,500.
Teens’ growing interest in secondhand clothing could be a threat to department and specialty stores.
Piper Sandler asked teens about the channels where they spend money, including secondhand stores as an option for the first time in the survey’s 20-year history. While online-only retailers dominated, secondhand retailers took market share away from off-price stores like TJ Maxx as well as from specialty and major department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom. All three of those categories saw declines in the survey.
Resale continues to be a popular trend as awareness around sustainability and fashion’s impact on the environment grows. According to a 2018 report from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the fashion industry accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions and 20% of global waste water.
Teens participating in the Piper Sandler survey ranked environmental issues highly as a political and social topic they care about, coming in second place in terms of importance only to racial equality.
The resale market as a whole is expected to rise from $US32 billion this year to $US51 billion by 2023, according to research from ThredUp and GlobalData Retail.
This week, Levi’s launched a new program called Levi’s SecondHand that allows shoppers to buy pre-owned jeans and jackets and turn in their own used denim for a store credit. Gucci and The RealReal also announced a partnership on Monday that will see the brand directly sell its own secondhand items on the resale platform.
In May, Walmart announced a partnership with ThredUp to sell used clothing, accessories, and shoes on its website.
Resale players hope that by encouraging customers to buy clothing secondhand, they can reduce the emissions and waste water used to produce new items.