It’s the latest example of how the resale world is responding to growing anti-fast fashion sentiments. Erin Wallace, vice president of integrated marketing at ThredUp, told Modern Retailer that the campaign is aimed specifically at addressing tensions among Gen Z consumers, who want to waste less but are fast fashion buyers.
ThredUp’s own marketplace has at least 10,000 items from Sheen, more than 17,000 from Zara, nearly 23,000 from H&M and more than 23,000 from Forever21.
“More than one in three consumers want to stop fast fashion this year,” she said. But the action was not necessarily reflected in the data. We want to continue to push this narrative and keep awareness around super-fast fashion and keep it top of mind – especially for Gen Z who ‘want to change’.
It’s not the first time ThredUp has launched a marketing campaign calling out the waste of fast fashion. Last June, ThredUp released coupons for Bay Area-shoppers. And Shin asked them to block the pop-up. Then in August, he teamed up with “Stranger Things” star Priya Ferguson for a “Stop Fast Fashion” hotline for sustainable shopping tips.
Other resale brands are also noticing the change: Poshmark has launched a fast fashion sale on its marketplace. According to data from Modern Retailer, searches for something cute, fashion nova and shine decreased by 43%, 33% and 25.8% in October 2022 and 25.8% respectively to January 2023 compared to last year. Meanwhile, Vestiaire Collective announced last fall that it would no longer feature any fast fashion brands on its marketplace.
Wallace says ThredUp’s push to challenge fast fashion comes from a desire to look at the waste generated by clothing. Overall, more than 9,070 tons of clothing and shoes ended up in landfills in 2018, more than double the amount in 2000, according to the EPA.
“Ultimately, until these very fast fashion companies cut back, we really have this unnecessary problem,” she said. There needs to be a mass-accepted behavioral change to send a message to the core issue, which is the companies product.
Second hand for quality
On Instagram and TikTok, fashion influencers are increasingly warning their followers about the dangers of fast fashion. Others are taking it a step further by refusing to buy even when it’s handheld.
Phoebe Joseph is a model and sustainability advocate who promotes her sustainable clothing on Instagram. she is He noticed that “gems” are difficult to find as fast fashion items flood the secondhand market. Many shoppers prefer thrift boutiques that specialize in trendy brands, vintage brands, or other high-end clothing.
Still, Joseph sees a place in the fast fashion resale market. It’s being done anyway, she said — and it deserves a place to go other than landfills.
“Buying fast fashion at the second-hand market is forever better than buying new,” she said. There is a conflicting feeling when buying that brand if you are familiar with the background of the companies. But I think if people can buy those things on a regular basis, we’ll see the demand (for the new fast fashion) go down.
Chloe Baffert, Poshmark’s head of merchandising, also said that those looking for affordable clothing should look to resale platforms instead of new fast fashion sites.
But overall, consumers are shifting their resale behavior toward higher-end brands: Although specific numbers aren’t available, sales for brands like Everlane, Girlfriend Collective, Patagonia and Reformation were up year-over-year between October 2022 and January 2023. .
Consumers are also looking for more vintage, with Poshmark searches up 11.8% year-over-year from October 2022 to January 2023.
“Consumers look to vintage to copy trending styles from social media platforms rather than buying repeats from fast fashion retailers,” Baffert said.
ThredUp doesn’t share information about what the fast fashion sells look like in its inventory or whether consumers are returning from it. But it has hundreds of brands that aren’t eligible for payment — including brands like Wild Fable, Shein, H&M, Fashion Nova and Target.
“I think it just goes to show that there’s no resale value for super fast fashion items,” Wallace said. “And hopefully, this will start to drive a conversation about taking a deeper look at the resale value of items at the point of purchase.”
What is the price?
From a business perspective, it can be “very difficult” to sell marketplaces in fast fashion, said Claire Tassin, retail and e-commerce analyst at Morning Consult. Sellers on peer-to-peer networks like Poshmark may see a small return, but it may not be worth it for larger warehouse-warehouse operations, Tassin said.
“Someone has to take these boxes out and examine the clothes and photograph them. And if you want to sell that at a discount for a shilling, it’s not worth your time,” she said.
Wallace from ThredUp says there’s a minimum selling price for fast fashion — the company doesn’t charge sellers on certain fast fashion items. Those that cannot be sold are sent to third parties for recycling or redistribution.
The surplus can slow down processing operations in the warehouse, Wallace said, which can lead to delays or pauses in sales processes.
“It doesn’t even cover the cost of setting up and listing,” she says. “Consumers need to carefully consider what they’re saving and what they’re sending if they want the best results.”