True Fit attributes this paradigm shift to the increasingly sustainably-minded and cost-conscious consumerism that is driving a pre-loved fashion revolution.

Quoting a study by Boston Consulting Group, True Fit said the resale shopping trend continues to be led by Gen Z which were the most likely demographic to buy and sell pre-owned fashion.

True Fit’s poll showed that now a third (33%) of Gen Zs shop fashion on pre-loved platforms, a quarter (25%) choose to buy clothing from vintage stores and a further (30%) will head to charity stores. This compares to 19% of the same demographic who make fashion purchases on Facebook and 27% who use Instagram.

Offering budget lines that are still sustainably created was the top way 34% of UK shoppers felt retailers could help them consume in a more sustainable manner, according to True Fit’s research, followed by clearly stating sustainable credentials on clothing labels (28%) and offering repair services (27%). Meanwhile, over half (58%) of UK consumers would consider swapping fast for slow fashion in the future to be more environmentally conscious in their buying choices, rising to 67% of Gen Z and 61% of Millennials.

GlobalData, estimates that the global apparel resale market size was $182.4bn in 2022 with expected growth at a CAGR of more than 16% till 2026. True Fit explains as the demand for pre-loved fashion continues to grow, retailers are evolving their fashion offerings at pace.

This is evident from the fact that brands like H&M have launched a platform offering pre-loved apparel, and Shein, which recently unveiled the Shein Exchange resale platform.

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Sarah Curran, global CMO at True Fit, commented: “Driven by sustainability, affordability and exclusivity, second-hand is fast becoming first-choice for many consumers who seek to consume fashion in a more mindful way. This provides retailers with a tangible opportunity to acquire new cohorts or audiences who might experience their brand first in a pre-loved format, having not considered the brand previously. The challenge then lies in bringing them back to the brand again to explore current collections or encourage repeat-custom within the retailer’s existing portfolio or product catalogue.”

“We’re also seeing the green imperative now evolving the services consumers expect from retailers, with repair and rental indexing highly amid these new expectations, as well as the trend towards the ‘slow fashion’ movement gathering pace,” Curran added.