In The Future We’ll All Probably Be Wearing Used Clothing

In the (near) future, secondhand clothing may rack in the most sales from consumers, potentially even outselling fast fashion retail giants like Zara and H&M.

According to a report in CNBC, last year fast fashion retailers accounted for $35 billion in sales and used clothing was only slightly behind them at $24 billion. Moreover, the data collected by GlobalData says that by 2028 used fashion could reach $64 billion in sales outperforming fast fashion which may only reach $44 billion.

It makes sense. Over the last five years, online sellers like Grailed, Poshmark, Depop, and TheRealReal have created a seamless way for shoppers to buy used and vintage clothing without having to rummage through racks and racks of clothing at second-hand shops. There’s also been a surge in Instagram shops dedicated to used and vintage clothing, making a previously worn sweater or dress just a scroll away. The option to make money or trade clothing gives shoppers a whole new way to switch up their wardrobes without overspending. Plus, Gen Z is way more aware of the places their dollars are going when it comes to spending money on clothing, favoring socially conscious and sustainable brands.

While used clothing is thought to be better for the environment one thing thats not clear from the report is what this shift will mean from a sustainability perspective. But, one thing we can conclude is that in ten years it’s likely that your closet will be full of items that were previously loved.

Related: These 8 Fashion Brands Prove Everyone Should Follow the CFDA’s Sustainability Guide