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How Sustainable is the Re-Sale Market?

According to Pipecandy, the re-sale market was worth $24m in 2018 and is set to grow to $40m within 4 years, with 50% of that revenue being attributed to Clothing and Apparel sales alone. This exponential growth is to do with the changing attitudes and beliefs of people wanting to wear designer clothes or be seen in those exclusive hard to get items which is fuelling the secondary market.

The stigma that used to be attached to buying secondhand clothes is still there for some, but for the majority, it's becoming the norm. We're more socially conscious and the idea of clothes being recycled within the market is a positive thing. With the majority of the high-end street market being credited to 18-38 age range, we're finding consumers tapping into the secondary market to get hold of those items that otherwise come with huge price tags.

Photo: Andrea Menin
Photo: Andrea Menin

When it comes to the brands that most tend to be interested in - Supreme and Yeezy for example - we're finding more often than not, even the used items can appreciate in value which in turn means consumers are looking at these brands as investments. It's not unheard of to buy a t-shirt at £38 and sell for £300+. Why?

Well, since the collaboration between Supreme and Louis Vuitton back in 2017, the high-end fashion market changed. It was the first time that Streetwear hit the catwalks, and really took its place within the luxury fashion market. Notably, the Creative Director of Louis Vuitton is Virgil Abloh who is known for trying to blur the lines between the conventional and non-conventional with his own brand Off-White. This was a huge step for the Streetwear market and almost every high-end Designer like Balenciaga, Chanel, and Prada have had to follow suit.

Photo: The Locals
Photo: The Locals

The interesting thing is that the high-end streetwear market has had phenomenal growth, and yet Virgil Albloh - arguably the leader in this space - has come out saying that streetwear will die in the 2020s. This is a huge statement from someone that is adored by almost everyone. Do we agree? Not quite. Fashion is ever evolving, and we agree that there are only so many T-Shirts, Sneakers, and Hoodies one person can own. However, brands like Supreme, Off-White (Virgil's own brand) and Palace continue to grow their footprints internationally with stores opening globally. The Edit Man London for example believe Streetwear is here to stay whether it be boxfresh items or archived (vintage) pieces.

The premium ReSale site connects those that want to invest in their fashion, and tap into those items that look cool now as well as in 5 years’ time with the ideology that you may even make money on it later down the line. Moses Rashid - CEO of The Edit Man London said "the desire to continue to wear the latest items and keep 'on trend' is still there as is the desire to be seen as 'cool'. We want our customers to think of Fashion as Art. If you buy right, you can make money later down the line and we'll help you do that. With one eye on sustainability we've actively sought out Vintage items to put on our website as we believe the market will start to shift this way over the next 5 years."

Having a social conscious will have a big part to play to really tap into the Millennial and Gen Z market, and e-commerce sites are already trying to affect change. On 13th February 2020 The Edit Man London will host a London Fashion Week event with notorious artist McCrow who is known for using bullets in his artwork to de-commission guns and take them out of circulation. All proceeds of the event will go to funding a project in Africa. Real change starts one step at a time and Moses believes we all have our part to play.

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