Sustainability and New Revenue Streams Are Driving Brands to Online Resale Marketplaces

Apparel brands like Madewell, Levi’s and Lululemon are turning their attention to the secondhand market


Clothing brands are coming for what’s in your closet, and they’re turning to third-party platforms for help.

The resale industry is projected to reach 5.4 times its current size in the next five years, according to thredUP’s latest Resale Report. Market research firm Cowen predicts it’ll hit 14% of the total apparel market by 2024, which is double its current share.

Brands are capitalizing on this by adding resale channels to their business models, taking back consumers’ used items in exchange for discounts or store credit and selling them again (usually with the help of a third-party platform) as secondhand items.

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This story first appeared in the Sept. 20, 2021, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.