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One in three buy used clothes – is your brand missing out?

By 17th November 2020 No Comments

A research project we published earlier this year found that one in three people had bought vintage & used clothing in the prior year but what does that mean for fashion brands?

Given the current spotlight on the environmental impact of textiles, many fashion brands are adopting circular business models to provide business resilience against the impacts and risks of climate change and meet this growing customer focus. But what are the opportunities for those not yet playing in this space?

Our research set out to identify whether buying used or vintage clothing meant buying less new. We found that out of those that had bought used in the previous year, over half of those said that their used clothing purchase prevented them from buying a new one.

Gerrard Fisher, QSA Partners says: “There is a healthy used clothing market in the UK with great commercial potential. Retailers and brands that don’t offer a service to this market are missing a great opportunity that can be easy to serve.”

Displacement of purchases reduces the demand for new products and so, in turn, reduces demand for precious resources resulting in a lower environmental footprint for each customer. Our results indicate that this is not only an opportunity for retailers and brands but an opportunity to reduce consumption of new products and resources and move towards more sustainable levels of resource consumption.

Gerrard continues: “This is a win for both fashion and the environment. For many brands, step one on the journey to a circular business model is resale. By solving a customer’s problem of how to manage garments they no longer wear, brands become more valuable to their customers. Those that aren’t on this journey are undoubtedly going to be missing out as the industry’s wasteful and polluting approach to consumption is being challenged.”

Download a FREE copy of the research report.

QSA Partners is a specialist team of circular economy and sustainable business experts with extensive experience in fashion and consumer goods. We have worked with many designer and high street brands including adidas, Farfetch, Rocio and ASOS. We believe that better business models – whether based on sustainability or circular economy principles – help our clients stay relevant, grow market share and open up different markets in this rapidly changing world, providing business resilience against the impacts and risks of climate change. Find out more about our services or contact us to see how we can help your business benefit.

Image Credit: Harry Cunningham on Unsplash

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