Second-hand, vintage, preloved, thrift – whatever you call it, clothing resale is growing fast. According to ThredUp’s most recent Resale Report, the value of the market is set to double to $350 billion by 2027. Across the H&M Group, we are exploring different resale models online and in-store to bring second-hand styles to our customers.
Gen Z driving force
Resale’s explosive growth is being driven by Gen Z. Born into the climate emergency and living through a period of soaring inflation, they are turning to secondhand as a way to express their individual style while both saving money and reducing their impact on the planet. It also gives shoppers the opportunity to level up and buy more expensive brands for a fraction of the retail price.
Giving our customers different ways to engage with fashion and style is in our DNA, so offering resale is a natural step for us”, comments Sara Eriksson, Sustainability Specialist in Circular Business Models at H&M Group. “It means we can satisfy customers who are looking for a sustainable style that doesn’t break the bank and at the same time make vital progress on our environmental goals.”
Part of the move to circularity
Resale is one of several circular business models that is helping the fashion industry shift from a linear ‘take-make-waste’ approach to a circular system. “One pillar of circular fashion is increasing how much existing clothing is used. As well as wearing the items you already own more often, this can mean repairing damaged garments, buying second hand or renting”, explains Sara.
Normalising second hand
H&M Group has launched several different resale initiatives including curated in-store assortments as well as peer-to-peer websites where people sell their preloved pieces direct to other customers (see full list below). In addition, the group is the majority owner of Sellpy, an online platform that aims to make shopping and selling second hand as easy as possible by taking care of the whole process – photographing, listing and then shipping items when sold. Since 2022, Sellpy’s assortment has been integrated into H&M’s online stores in Germany and Sweden.
Although resale is growing, there is still a way to go before it becomes mainstream. “For a growing customer base buying and selling second hand clothing is just as normal as buying new. We hope that by offering resale alongside our traditional assortment both in store and online we can encourage more people to feel the same, so shopping second hand becomes a natural part of their experience with us”, states Sara.