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National Secondhand Wardrobe Day: A look at the $28B industry that's going digital

Cortney Moore

Only got twenty dollars in your pocket? Turns out you're not the only one popping tags.

National Secondhand Wardrobe Day is here and ready to give your closet new life Sunday.

The annual event encourages shoppers to give gently worn pieces a chance in exchange for deals, savings and sustainability - and it turns out a lot of people are into stretching their dollar when it comes to buying clothes.

A consumer survey from Statista estimates that the secondhand apparel market has a $28 billion worldwide valuation for 2019.

It even projects that the value will go as high as $51 billion by 2023. If this number is accurate, that’s a direct threat to the fast fashion market, which is forecasted to have a $44 billion worldwide valuation by 2028.

Shopping secondhand no longer means having to sift through old bins or settling for frumpy forms. In fact, being thrifty is becoming more mainstream for consumers. According to The State of Fashion 2019 report by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, trends indicate that ownership is decreasing while a desire to reduce waste is increasing.

While thriftiness is gaining popularity, it’s certainly not a new occurrence. Nonprofit donation services remain a large supplier for used clothes. Goodwill Industries International Inc. is one community-based organization that maintains a physical presence with more than 3,300 stores in the U.S. and Canada. And with a self-reported stat that states it provides over 2,000 new items to the sales floor daily, Goodwill remains a top dog in the industry.

However, in the world of ecommerce, it is the peer-to-peer services that are driving secondhand shopping to new heights. Buying and selling is often easy with rare finds and direct messaging thrown into the mix. Here are some of the top brands for finding hand-me-downs or giving your clothes a new home.

thredUP

As a leader in the fashion resale market, thredUP is an online marketplace with a message that encourages collaborative consumption, innovation and a sharing economy. It’s also a top favorite for shoppers because it accepts both value and premium designers and offers a payout scale that increases with the price of your listing.

Swap Consignment

For shoppers that want convenience over all else, Swap provides one-day shipping and even combines items into a single package. It also has a vast selection that ranges from men, women, kids, baby, maternity and more.

Poshmark

Poshmark is a top choice for shoppers that constantly updating their closet. Clothes are shipped directly from individuals and purchase protection is provided, so refunds are issued when items don’t show or match what was originally advertised.

Depop

Fashion-conscious shoppers that primarily use their phones for business look toward the Depop app. The digital marketplace has attracted young celebrities like Maisie Williams and Madison Beer and YouTube vloggers. Though, it’s important to note that it uses British pounds.

Grailed

Grailed is one of the few secondhand online stores tailored to men. It hosts a variety of styles from streetwear to high-end designers.

Asos Marketplace

With a dedicated secondhand section, the Asos Marketplace has a mix of individual sellers and indie designers. There’s also a selection of vintage picks.

The RealReal

With one physical location in New York, TheRealReal is a luxury secondhand service that shows a lot of promise with thorough authenticity inspections by apparel experts and an exclusive and prioritized membership service.

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