Gen Z is Leading the Second-Hand Clothing Transition

The global market value for second-hand selling will skyrocket in the coming years as sustainability becomes a core focus. MoneyTransfers.com has deep-dived into country-specific data to reveal that clothing is the number one category for items sold second-hand worldwide, and how Gen Z is leading the charge for this shift in consumer behavior.

Collating country-specific data on the most-purchased second-hand goods by category in 2022, we found that out of 10 countries, clothing is the most popular category, followed by shoes, and books, movies & music.

At the other end of the scale, all countries shared the same least-purchased second-hand category. For instance, pet products accounted for 5% or less of second-hand goods purchased by respondents in 2022.

Second-hand buying and selling surges in 2021

Across the world, second-hand selling and purchasing are on the rise. eBay, one of the largest online marketplaces, reported an increase of 7.84% in users year on year in 2021, with 57% of the company’s total revenue coming from its international market.

Likewise, second-hand selling apps have seen phenomenal growth since the pandemic. Depop’s user base more than doubled to two million active users by October 2021 in the UK alone, while ThredUp reported a 36% increase in active buyers year on year in their full 2021 report.

Moreover, stores are quickly catching up on the growing trend, too. ThredUp reports that brands with a resale shop of their own increased. That’s from just 8 in 2020 to 30 in 2021. Moreover, that’s a whopping 275% increase that will continue to grow.

Selling isn’t the only thing on the rise, either. Of eBay’s sellers, 80% of those based in the U.S. said they sell second-hand goods. In addition, they have also bought pre-owned goods in the last 12 months. This growing tendency to shop for used items correlates with ThredUp’s 2022 resale report, in which they revealed that 74% of consumers have shopped or are open to shopping for secondhand apparel.