Fashion Resale and Sustainability

According to a 2019 Resale Report done by GlobalData for Thredup, the resale market has grown 21 times faster than the new apparel market during the last three years, and the market is projected to double during the next five. Millenials and Gen Z are noted as being the main shoppers who are more open than previous generations to shopping preowned, and it’s about time. Startling statistics reveal that more than half of fast fashion produced is discarded within the year, and this waste is only part of the problem. The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of the world’s carbon footprint due to sustainability issues from production to shipping to disposal. Fashion resale is one option for those looking to reduce fashion’s strain on the environment. Buying preowned means preserving natural resources as well as saving clothes from languishing in landfills for hundreds of years. Below are standout resale platforms that are making a difference in the fashion world in all the right ways.


Founded by Simon Beckerman in 2011, Depop provided readers of indie fashion publication PIG (People In Groove) Magazine a way to shop designs from the mag’s featured artists. The platform soon transformed into a marketplace where users could buy and sell preowned apparel with ease. The app also provides a space for the style-inclined to commune and explore fashion in an accessible way. Depop’s most shopped categories are streetwear, Y2K, vintage, and one-of-a-kind fashion, drawing their main user base from fashionistas under 26.

ThredUp and Poshmark

ThredUp and Poshmark occupy a similar space in the resale market, so it’s important to recognize their distinctions. Sellers on ThredUp send in their clothes to be resold on the platform while Poshmark operates similarly to Depop where the seller has total control of individual listings and are responsible for the entire process. ThredUp operates more like online consignment where Poshmark acts as a marketplace. Both sites offer a sustainable solution to deal with unwanted apparel.

The RealReal

For those looking to shop deadstock designer pieces, they’ll find The RealReal a real deal. A home for luxury goods and apparel, The RealReal makes a case for sustainability through designer consignment. In addition to extending the life of luxury garments, they promote circular fashion, a system where every garment is designed with its next use in mind. Ethically produced articles are created with eco-friendly materials so that they may be recycled or disposed of with minimal impact. The RealReal features its own revolutionary sustainability calculator which measures the resources saved through fashion resale.The RealReal even recently released an upcycled collection made from damaged or unsellable ready-to-wear pieces. The emphasis on the preservation of textiles extends to their partnerships with brands that support circular fashion practices including the likes of Colina Strada, Dries Van Noten, and Stella McCartney.

Nuuly Thrift

Nuuly Thrift is the sister of Nuuly Rent, an Urban Outfitters Inc. subscription service where users can sign up to rent new clothes every month. The Nuuly app is anticipated to drop this fall and will be a marketplace for preowned clothes where users can decide to cash out their profits or turn sales into store credit at any UO Inc store.

Gucci Vault

If you want to invest in vintage Gucci pieces, you’ll fall head over platformed heels for the new Gucci Vault, an experimental online space designed to showcase refurbished pieces from Gucci’s past collections. The site features an array of content including a luxury ASMR video, models painting portraits of themselves looking head to toe retro, and an assemblage of reworked vintage pieces straight from the Gucci archives. Silk scarves and blouses, even a vintage leather wardrobe, come to life in playfully animated sequences alongside capsule collections by up and coming designers like Collina Strada. Although most of the GG Plus pieces have sold already, the project is ongoing with new drops to be announce announced to Vault subscribers via newsletter.

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