44% of Customers Need the Authorities to Promote Sustainable Trend: Survey

ThredUp is an online consignment and thrift store. It has partnered with retailers including Walmart.


Thrift clothing has grown in popularity with shoppers and now some want the government to give them a boost.

Almost half of consumers – 44% – think the government should encourage a more sustainable approach to fashion, such as tax breaks for brands or buyers who buy second-hand clothing, according to a new survey of 3,500 adults by consulting firm GlobalData commissioned report from the online resale site ThredUp.

The report’s findings reflect shoppers’ commitment to social issues, from racial justice to climate change, and a desire for politicians and businesses to get involved too. It may also suggest that more people have become accustomed to public policy as a tool to encourage consumers to adopt green habits.

ThredUp President Anthony Marino said initiatives like plastic bag fees and electric vehicle tax credits have paved the way for the apparel industry to become the next frontier. And, he said, the pandemic has raised consumer awareness of their own environmental impact and a desire to reduce waste.

“When a virus originating in a city in a part of the world that you’ve never heard of shakes your life, you start to see that things are pretty closely related,” he said.

Over the past year, he said, people got stuck at home and noticed large amounts of clothes, shoes and other items piling up or being squeezed into drawers. That has inspired some to sell carefully used items or to be more aware of what they are buying, he said.

“Our closet isn’t too far away, so the abundance of things around us was all too obvious,” he said. Also, he said, people watched the budget during the recession and found that reselling them could stretch dollars or generate additional income.

Resale has become a growing part of retail as younger consumers search for brand names that are wallet-friendly, and companies like ThredUp and Poshmark put shelf browsing in a flea market or thrift store at an e-commerce level. According to a study by GlobalData, the resale market will more than double over the next five years from a $ 36 billion industry in 2021 to a $ 77 billion industry in 2025. That’s a growth rate 11 times faster than the broader clothing retail sector.

ThredUp went public in March and has closed deals with more than a dozen retailers, including Walmart, who have added resale items to company websites or are becoming places where customers can drop off clothes for sale. On Tuesday, the stock closed at $ 25.88, about 85% above its stock price of $ 14 on the day it went public, for a market value of $ 2.35 billion. His competitor Poshmark also went public at the beginning of the year. Poshmark shares closed at $ 45.88 for a market cap of $ 3.47 billion.

According to a survey by GlobalData and ThredUp, 33 million consumers first bought second-hand clothing last year, and 76% of those first-time buyers plan to increase their second-hand clothing spend over the next five years.

According to the survey, this could potentially be improved if the government intervened with regulations or incentives. 58 percent of retail executives say they would be more likely to test resale if it was linked to financial incentives, and 47% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy used clothing if they skipped sales tax or received a tax credit could.

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