Apparel resale gains greater traction amongst APAC consumers

At least a tenth of shoppers is buying second-hand apparel more than usual.

Apparel resale has been gaining stronger traction in the Asia Pacific in recent times due to a slew of investments and luxury brand partnerships, with 39% of shoppers in the region looking to buy second-hand clothing items, according to a GlobalData report.

At the same time, nearly three in 10 (29%) shoppers stated that they are buying second-hand footwear items. Meanwhile, 16% and 13% of shoppers revealed that they are opting for rented clothing and footwear items, respectively.

The survey also found that 27% and 20% of consumers will continue to purchase second hand/pre-loved clothing and footwear items respectively over the next 12 months, whereas 15% and 13% of shoppers intended to choose rental options.

At least a tenth of shoppers is also purchasing second-hand clothing, accessories, and footwear more often than usual.

Resale and rental models offer different ways to achieve a circular economy. However, the pandemic has driven consumers to hold back on spending more on ownership of discretionary products such as apparel, said GlobalData’s Retail Analyst Ankita Roy.

“There is uncertainty on how these models will fare in the long run as people are sceptical of using shared services to avoid the risk of transmission of COVID-19 along with constrained finance. However, with the luxury brands collaborating with resale platforms, second-hand items have witnessed a higher participation rate,” Roy said.

Clothing was found to be the most popular rental and resale category followed by accessories and footwear in the region. This was attributed to a growing trend particularly among younger generations to move away from permanent ownership of old clothing.

“This also enables them to refresh their wardrobes. Hence, clothing remains the most preferred category in the rental and resale market,” Roy said.

China was cited to be a booming second-hand apparel market, with the younger generations being its core consumers, as they are noted to love variety in their closets and can be thrifty about their spending.

This has also been the case in India, where the resale market has been a growing trend for its cheap and sustainable offerings. However, buyers’ confidence remained a key issue in buying used clothes amidst the pandemic.

“Resellers must resolve the issue of inventory replenishment to cater to consumers’ demands in India. If taken care of these factors, there is a huge long-term growth potential of second-hand and rental models in the region,” Roy said.

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