Well before the Covid-19 crisis the second-hand market, which was estimated at 22 billion euros in 2018, was predicted to grow by 12% in 2021 according to BCG and Altagamma consulting firms.
In 2019, a few brands such as Burberry, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Farfetch and Ba&sh saw business opportunities in customers’ growing interest in consigning, while at the same time startups like Caastle, Reflaunt, The Restory, LePrix, Le Vestiaire Collectif and Eon emerged to help both brands and customers participate in circular business models.
With the current crisis, consumers are taking time to think about their consumption habits and their impact on the planet. The reinforcement of the ethical and ecological considerations among consumers is boosting the second-hand market. In these difficult times, some consumers owning luxury items and in need of cash might offer their items for sale, expanding supply at lower prices which could stimulate demand. This trend seems to be gaining momentum in Hong Kong.
As part of this circular business model development, we can expect major fashion players pushing forward the “reduce, reuse, recycle” motto by putting in place in-house resale, rental, or using deadstock fabrics to create new designs. Kering’s chief client and digital officer Grégory Boutté acknowledged that rental and resale were on his radar.