If you're in the throes of spring cleaning — or, you know, still gearing up to start, day now — you're probably cutting some items from your closet. (If you need some help kicking off a deep edit of your wardrobe, read this.) Perhaps you'll be trying to recycle some of those neglected pieces by donating or reselling them. You're in good company if you're going the latter route: According to ThredUP's fifth annual report, resale is currently an $18 billion industry, and it's projected to grow to $33 billion by 2021. The online fashion resale site surveyed 2,000 women via a third-party research firm, GlobalData for the report. The fascinating findings include intel on which brands are currently most sought-after among secondhand shoppers, along with insights about when and why people are motivated to peruse pre-owned fashion finds.
Lululemon, Steve Madden, and 7 For All Mankind are the top three resale brands currently, per ThredUP's latest report. The Canadian leggings purveyor with a cult following topped the survey's list for activewear, which the site found to be the fastest-growing category in the resale market. As for Steve Madden, it's the top name on the fastest-selling category: shoes. Meanwhile, 7 For All Mankind, one of the O.G. premium denim labels to make it big in the early aughts, is still going strong, apparently: it's the best-selling brand in the best value category, per ThredUP.
"These are all brands that are aspirational for customers who previously had to settle for cheaper, fast-fashion alternatives," ThredUP's founder and CEO, James Reinhart, told Refinery29. "ThredUP helps customers afford brands they would not have otherwise been able to afford new. Who wouldn't want a pair of Steve Madden flats for $20?"
As for the most popular design brands on the resale market: Diane von Furstenberg, Tory Burch, Vince, Joie, Joe's Jeans, 7 For All Mankind, and Eileen Fisher. On the accessories front, Coach, Kate Spade New York, Michael Michael Kors, and Vera Bradley are most in-demand, while sought-after emerging labels are Theory, Trina Turk, Nanette Lepore, Rebecca Taylor, and Elie Tahari (though we'd beg to differ on calling any of these brands "emerging").
The 2016 report highlighted six brands (instead of three) that generate the most interest, and sales, on the secondhand market: Lululemon, Old Navy, Ann Taylor, Theory, J.Crew, and Nike topped the list in the categories of value brand, mainstream label, designer brand, established resale brand, and athletic brand, respectively.
Interestingly, nighttime trawling for secondhand garb is quite popular: 9 to 10 p.m. is the peak shopping timeframe on ThredUP. Plus, online resale shopping (on any site, not just ThredUP) clocked more time than online shopping (for new items), gaming, and Facebook-ing in terms of "nightly entertainment." Binging on Netflix does, however, trump online resale shopping: survey respondents spend an average of an hour and 33 minutes binging on their favorite shows, versus a still-impressive average of 45 minutes worth of resale activity, be it buying or selling wares.
The report found that getting a bargain is practically a non-negotiable when shopping: 94% of women surveyed reported that they rarely buy clothing full price, and 40% of women wouldn’t even enter a store if a significant number of items weren’t discounted. (Are you, too, as committed to the pursuit of a good deal?) So, if you needed some motivation to finally begin your spring cleaning, digging up some old Sevens or Steve Madden kicks to offload is a solid place to start.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?