The future of the fashion industry may already be in your closet. With the rising importance of sustainable fashion, more and more shoppers are looking to buy and sell used clothing, and many companies have already been founded to help shoppers do just that.
Stores and websites selling used items are on the rise and investors are noticing. Companies like ThredUp, The RealReal, and Poshmark have found success helping sell used clothing items from different price points. Resale brands may sell anything from fast fashion, such as Zara, to medium price points, like J.Crew, and even luxury brands, like Gucci. What makes these companies different from a typical consignment shop is their digital emphasis. Each company has a website and an app where shoppers can go and browse items for sale or set up their own pieces for selling. The RealReal focuses solely on luxury items and uses online advertising to find customers looking for designer pieces without having to pay full price. 70% of luxury digital shoppers use their mobile device to shop, according to a Gartner L2 report on this topic, meaning that having an app available for luxury consignment opens up a huge target market.
With the rise of online sales channels, more people are starting to sell their items instead of thrifting or donating. The chance to reuse and resell clothes while making a small profit is a huge sell for many consumers. Specialty retail and department store items have been the most successful at being sold on an outlet like Poshmark, which lets the seller and buyer interact directly, while only taking 10% of the sales profit.
Digital consignment is an easy way for consumers to get items they want without having to pay extravagant prices or feel guilty about the effect their purchases have on the environment. As resale becomes a more popular mode of shopping, fashion brands may find their older items for sale once again.