2014 WAS A PIVOTAL YEAR FOR THE ONLINE CONSIGNMENT INDUSTRY

The fashion resale market shows explosive growth

Venture Capital firms invested over $100 million in the online consignment industry last year, validating a shift in consumer purchasing behavior and an evolving retail landscape. Some retailers have already incorporated resale or recycling into their business model, while other brands are piloting programs with resale startups that encourage customers to practice sustainable consumption habits.

Consumers are shopping and spending smarter

The availability of great quality secondhand apparel has convinced consumers to purchase like-new items for everything from wardrobe staples to holiday gifts. A 2014 study found that one in four parents would dress their child in secondhand clothes on the first day of school, and 56% of Americans would buy holiday gifts secondhand. More Americans will visit a resale store than an outlet mall this year.

But it's not all about shopping

We're experiencing a societal shift toward less ownership (cars and homes, for example). The art of decluttering and doing more with less is an increasingly common theme in American households.

A study of middle-class families in Los Angeles reported just one in four families could fit a car in their garage! In general, Americans bring far more into their homes than they remove.

Japanese author Marie Kondo is making headlines all over the world for her New York Times best seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Americans are passionately following her advice to prioritize satisfying life experiences over acquiring more stuff.

thredUP's Third Annual Resale Report takes an in-depth look at the current state of the fashion resale industry, specifically:

  • Its environmental impact
  • Cities leading the resale trend
  • Secondhand brand data
  • Consumer savings opportunity

AT A GLANCE:
THE FASHION RESALE INDUSTRY TODAY

Brick and Mortar

Resale businesses represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the retail industry, with the number of stores increasing by 7% annually.

Where are Americans Shopping?

16-18%

Thrift Store

12-15%

Consignment Shop

11.4%

Factory Outlet Mall

19.6%

Apparel Store

21.3%

Major Department Store

Online



The online clothing resale industry is a $34 billion opportunity, created by the quantity of unworn clothing and accessories in American closets and the rate at which people add to their wardrobes every year.

The entire apparel market was $400 billion last year, and has been growing at a rate of 5% over the past five years, while the online apparel industry was $52 billion in 2014, up 14% from 2013.

Venture capitalists are behind the thriving􏰀 industry. Nearly $300 million is invested in online fashion resale — $100 million in 2014, up from $40 million in 2013. By April 2015, $70 million was already invested.

Mobile commerce is hot, especially for resale. 45% of thredUP sales come from a mobile device, compared to one in four retail sales predicted to come from a mobile device in 2016.

Retailers Launch Resale Programs

Proactive apparel retailers are integrating resale into their business to keep their clothes in the fashion cycle for more than one person's wear.

patagonia

Commitment to product quality above all, complimentary lifetime product repairs, and the Common Threads resale program, demonstrate industry leadership in corporate environmental and social responsibility.

efisher

Women turn in gently used Eileen Fisher clothes to be resold across eight U.S. store locations. Proceeds from the Green Eileen program ($2.2M to date) are donated to groups that empower women and girls.

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The global Garment Collecting program asks customers to turn in clothes, across any brand, to reduce waste, give old products a new life, and eventually close the loop on textiles so nothing goes to waste.

THREDUP'S ANNUAL IMPACT AND INSIGHTS:
THE YEAR 2014

62.5 MILLION

Amount Americans saved shopping at thredUP vs. retail

4.5 MILLION

Amount Americans earned selling their clothes with thredUP

We care about organizations doing good in the world,and help support the ones our customers care about.

15,000

Donation to charities including Teach For America and Feeding America

9,000

Customer donations to local programs and causes in lieu of a monetary payout

Did you know, the average American generates 60 pounds of textile waste each year? That's 19 billion pounds of textiles, 85% of which is sent to landfill.

The thredUP community is working hard to change these stats, saving natural resources required in new clothing manufacturing and keeping millions of pounds of textiles out of landfill.

3.8 MILLION

Items received to sell or recycle

31 MILLION

Pounds of CO2 saved

2.7 BILLION

Gallons of water saved
(53 million bathtubs full!)

How much is 3.8 million items? When lined up, they would span 1,500 miles—the distance from Boston to Miami!

THE NATION'S
(LIFE)STYLE INNOVATORS

Some communities have incorporated online consignment into their lives much faster than others. They are role models for a greener future, one in which we all collectively think secondhand first.

Numbers represent the amount each city saved shopping on thredUP in 2014

Savvy Fashionistas

These Top 10 cities are adopting secondhand fashion faster than anywhere else in the country!

City Growth Rate
Richmond, VA 278%
Columbia, SC 277%
Hayward, CA 235%
Tampa, FL 230%
Manchester, NH 214%
Portland, OR 207%
Omaha, NE 205%
Washington, DC 203%
Alexandria, VA 192%
New Orleans, LA 191%

RECYCLE-ISTAS

These 10 winning cities are adopting fashion resale faster than anywhere else in the country, selling nearly 300% more clothes in 2014 than 2013!

City Growth Rate
Washington, DC 283%
Hoboken, NJ 268
Arlington, VA 235%
Indianapolis, IN 250
Nashville, TN 249
Boston, MA 232
Fairfax, VA 212
Alexandria, VA 208
St. Louis, MO 200
Dallas, TX 194

Numbers represent the amount of items each city sent to thredUP in 2014

CLOSET CLEAN OUT
TRENDS

thredUP customers clean out their closets (and their kids'!) about three times a year,
and send in about 20 items each time.

  • 32% They can earn some extra cash
  • 25% It's convenient
  • 16% It allows them to update their wardrobe more often
  • 14% It's eco-friendly
  • 13% It helps declutter and stay organized
  • 29% To save money
  • 20% To afford brands otherwise too expensive
  • 14% It's fun
  • 11% It's eco-friendly
  • 7% It's convenient

THE RESALE
BRAND WINNERS

thredUP analyzed data from 18,790 brands sold in 2014 to determine the brands you can save the most on, earn the most money back for, and the brands and styles that sell the fastest (some items sell within seconds!).

Most Wanted

Many people come to thredUP to find the pieces they want before scoping out the retail stores. These top-searched terms of the year reveal the most sought-after brands and styles in 2014.

Brands

brands-block

Styles & Materials

STYLES

  • Tunic
  • Vest
  • Maxi dress
  • Peplum
  • Jumpsuit

MATERIALS

  • Leather
  • Plaid
  • Cashmere
  • Flannel
  • Lace

Consumers are relying on resale sites to deliver the latest trends, and they are even shopping ahead of the style curve by searching for them before they arrive in stores. These styles all made Fashion Week runways in 2014 and 2015; jumpsuits were #3 on Vogue Magazine's list of Spring/Summer 2015 fashion trends!

Best Brands to Buy

These are the hidden gems of the resale world, the brands you will find discounted the highest percentage off retail. Hurry up, get shopping for them!

Women

Avg. Retail Price

Avg. thredUP Price

Avg. Buyer Savings

Ready-to-wear

Anthropologie's Cartonnier

107

16

85

ASOS

112

21

82

J.Crew*

96

20

79

LOFT

52

11

78

AQUA*

75

17

77

Designer

Michael Kors

340

51

85

Nanette Lepore

291

53

82

Tibi

362

71

80

Diane von Furstenburg*

359

73

80

Alice + Olivia

320

70

78

Shoes

MICHAEL Michael Kors

225

62

72

Steve Madden

71

21

71

Cole Haan

214

66

69

Sam Edelman

83

27

67

Dolce Vita

151

54

65

Handbags

Marc Jacobs*

900

225

75

Banana Republic

141

41

71

Kooba

391

115

71

Dooney & Bourke

189

56

70

Coach

175

52

70

Kids

Avg. Retail Price

Avg. thredUP Price

Avg. Buy Savings

Brooks Brothers

56

12

79

Hartstrings

32

7

78

Oilily

74

16

78

Ralph Lauren*

51

12

77

Petit Bateau

39

9

77

* = 2013 brand winner

Best Resale Value

Some people consider the resale price of apparel items before they make a retail purchase, in particular when it comes to designer pieces. It's not just cars and electronics that have a strong resale market today.

The following brands are winners when it comes to recouping the highest percentage of your original investment—demonstrating high quality and lasting brand name recognition.

WOMEN'S BRANDS WITH
THE BEST RESALE VALUE

KIDS' BRANDS WITH
THE BEST RESALE VALUE

The Fastest Sellers

Consumers are coming to thredUP looking for the following brands and categories, or, they are very excited to find them while browsing and immediately add them to their shopping cart.

The following brands and categories were 2014's fastest sellers, averaging three weeks or less on the site.

(in order of fastest selling)

Women

  • lululemon athletica* (under 8 days!)
  • TOMS*
  • Dooney & Bourke
  • UGG Australia
  • Under Armour*
  • Anthropologie
  • Athleta
  • Coach*
  • Torrid
  • Boden

Kids

  • The North Face* (under 1 week!)
  • Matilda Jane*
  • Under Armour
  • Mini Boden*
  • TOMS
  • Crocs*
  • Patagonia*
  • Under Armour
  • Stride Rite
  • Tea Collection

Categories

  • Handbags
  • Wristlets + Wallets
  • Scarves
  • Sunglasses
  • Boots
  • Coats
  • Sneakers
  • Yoga Pants & Shorts
  • Flats
  • Children's One-Piece Outfits

* = 2013 brand winner

10 Items That Sold Within 5 Minutes of Being Listed

MICHAEL Michael Kors tote

$109

Retail: $228

Banana Republic cross-body bag

$22

Retail: $98

Coach wristlet

$26

Retail: $68

Tory Burch flats

$140

Retail: $235

Ralph Lauren Collection boots

$154

Retail: $769

UGG Australia boots

$35

Retail: $165

Guess wool coat

$28

Retail: $107

lululemon athletica jacket

$21

Retail: $89

Matilda Jane girls jumper

$15

Retail: $52

Janie and Jack romper

$13

Retail: $43

WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?
A CLOSER LOOK AT YOUR SAVINGS POTENTIAL

How much money is in your closet?

Women have an average of 90 items in their closet, and own about 11 handbags, totaling $8,500 in retail value! Research shows they are not wearing at least 20% of what's in their wardrobe. Does this sound familiar? If so, it's time to clean out!

Trust us, you'll feel infinitely better when you're staring at a closet full of items you love. And even better, when you realize the potential to earn a few hundred dollars back for the clothes you're not wearing. You'll make at least $200 for the 20% just taking up precious closet space.

How much could you be saving?

The average consumer spends about $1,700 a year on apparel, but for women, this figure reportedly doubles to about $3,400. With an average savings of 70% at thredUP, you could easily spend under $1,000 a year.

Let's consider the savings, based on your shopping style:

If you consistently shop mainstream retail brands like J.Crew, LOFT and Banana Republic:

Retail Price 1,800 (3 items a month at $50 each)
thredUP Price 550 (Save over $1,200)

If you rotate out 2-3 pieces a month, spend just $350

If you mix in designer splurges from brands like Tory Burch and Joie throughout the year:

Retail Price 3,800 ($250 splurge 8 times a year, 3 items a month at $50)
thredUP Price 1,150 (save over $2,600)

If you rotate out 2-3 pieces a month, spend just $800

The Little Ones:

By age 17, a child has outgrown over 1,300 articles of clothing with parents having spent nearly $14,000 replacing these clothes. Parents can be saving $520 a year (per child) shopping resale!

You can start small. Consider the back-to-school season when parents typically spend about $350 on clothing and shoes; instead, you could spend $100 shopping like-new.

EXPERT
RESALE ADVICE

Whether you're shopping retail or resale, keep resale in mind.

  • Buy quality brands and classic or contemporary
  • Take good care of your wardrobe
  • Keep leather shoes and handbags polished and conditioned
  • Use delicate wash cycles when recommended
  • Don't let your beloved pets snag your sweaters!

Above all, remember that online resale is the most convenient way to clean out your closet, and to get rid of the clothes your kids have outgrown. It feels good to clean out!

Resources (in order of appearance in the Report)

Direct Resale Report press inquiries, including questions regarding resources and methodology, to media@thredUP.com.