The Future of Fashion Resale Report — BoF Insights

The Future of Fashion Resale Report — BoF Insights

A new report from BoF Insights reveals that just 5 to 7 percent of resaleable fashion is currently being bought and sold on resale platforms, resulting in an estimated $2.1 trillion of fashion sitting untapped in closets around the world.

The Future of Fashion Resale is published by the BoF Insights Lab, a new data and analysis unit at The Business of Fashion providing business leaders with proprietary and data-driven research to navigate the fast-changing global fashion industry. The report estimates that the global secondhand fashion market is currently worth $130 billion.

Of course, secondhand fashion has existed for decades, primarily in thrift and vintage stores, but the advent of online resale platforms has led to a step change in how used items can be bought and sold. Since 2019, there have been at least 13 new resale entrants, 6 new Resale-as-a-Service launches and 14 major brand partnerships.

Today, fashion resale is at an inflection point.

While a flurry of platforms and services have emerged in just the last few years, and a handful of platforms have gone public since 2019, the stock performance of these public companies has been mixed as markets debate the viability of their business models and contemplate their losses as these platforms invest to scale.

In tandem, brands and retailers are realising that they need to establish their own resale strategies as the resale economy becomes more entrenched. By engaging in resale, they have the opportunity to accrue economic benefits and deepen relationships with both new and existing customers, while influencing a product’s positioning and residual value through its lifetime.

In speaking to brands and retailers, what we most often hear are analogies to how they debated e-commerce and/or outlets years ago — and a sense that they need to proactively craft a resale strategy now rather than reactively do so later.

While resale may be inevitable, crafting the right resale strategy is not. Industry participants need to evaluate a complex set of dynamics and weigh various options for how to engage, from partnerships to outsourcing capabilities to building them in-house.

In this new report, BoF Insights offers its perspective on online resale: how we think about the upside of the industry, how we believe the landscape will evolve, and how we recommend industry participants build their own resale strategies.

Why Buy the Report

  • The report provides a comprehensive overview of fashion resale that deepens the understanding of all current or would-be industry participants

  • Brands and retailers can leverage our framework to develop data-driven strategies for entering resale and/or enhancing their current tactics and initiatives

  • Investors can identify and stay abreast of challenges and opportunities in the fast-moving resale space

The report is based on a number of public and proprietary research inputs, including:

  • 37 interviews with the founders, CEOs, and executive teams of leading resale platforms, Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS) companies, brands and retailers

  • Consumer surveys in the US, UK, France, Germany and China fielded by YouGov on behalf of BoF

  • Consumer survey of BoF’s global community of fashion professionals

  • Proprietary quantitative analyses of industry penetration, size and growth

  • Companies covered in the report include ThredUp, Tradesy, Vestiaire Collective, Depop, Poshmark, The RealReal and many other emerging and established RaaS companies and platforms

The Future of Fashion Resale is the first in-depth analysis to be published by the BoF Insights Lab, a new data and analysis unit at The Business of Fashion providing business leaders with proprietary and data-driven research to navigate the fast-changing global fashion industry. For support and enquiries please email insights@businessoffashion.com.

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