Saturday, 11 February 2023

Though Winter = More Pre-Loved Clothing

Written by Daniel Sheehan
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Aruna Sharma - Unsplash

Gen Z's love or obsession with pre-loved clothing has deeper and more substantial roots than we can see at first sight. Here is what is driving Zoomers' second-hand shopping.

The latest UNiDAYS report on students' shopping habits opens a window to the other reasons behind Gen Z's love for pre-loved fashion and clothing.

It is a cold Winter. It is not the weather but the cold economy are the main drivers of Gen Z's famous love for second-hand clothing and accessories, the latest study from UNiDAYS reveals.

Why Gen Z Keeps Choosing Pre-Loved

Money saving is now the main driver for students buying second-hand clothing, with 76% of Gen Z second-hand clothes shoppers aiming to cut spending, according to the new fashion report from UNiDAYS, the world’s leading Gen Z affinity network that enables students and graduates to discover savings.

2023: Low Economy More Second-Hand

The 2023 fashion report is a clear indicator that, aided by rising living costs, pre-loved is here to stay. The second-hand market is predicted to grow 127% by 2026 and, with nearly half of Gen Z students (47%) preferring in-store shopping, developing a pre-loved offer could be the smartest move retailers make in 2023.

The Data in Short
  • Pre-loved clothes category continues to grow – 75% of students are buying second-hand clothing.
  • Discounts play a critical role in purchasing decisions – Gen Z expects to save over 30% with a pre-loved purchase.
  • Second-hand market is expected to grow by 127% by 2026.
  • Environmental factors influence 51% of Gen Z choosing second-hand.

Pre-loved: Opportunities For Students And Brands

Popular online and high street shops like ASOS and LK Bennet are leading the charge, embracing pre-owned and vintage fashions online and offline, as Gen Z returns to the high street. With cost at the forefront of students’ minds, the shift to pre-loved purchases is perhaps unsurprising as Gen Z expects to save over 30% by buying second-hand clothing.

Gen Z-ers are also challenging brands to align with their changing behaviour and values. In fact, nearly two-thirds of students (69%) think brands should reward those who shop for pre-loved items through discounts provided by UNiDAYS or directly through retailers.

With new behaviour comes new opportunities, and as the pre-loved market grows, entrepreneurial students are seeking to boost their bank balance by finding and selling the best deals on the market. Over a third of students (37%) are now selling their used clothes online. For the majority (91%) this is driven by the need to make money. However, the environmental impact of clothing also remains one of the main priorities for students, with 72% of resellers stating sustainability as a reason for decluttering and reselling their clothes. More broadly over half of Gen Z (56%) see the environmental impact as a driver for purchasing pre-loved.

“We have spent over a decade building our relationship with students and an in-depth understanding of student needs. As living costs continue to challenge students, we want to shine a light on emerging consumer groups and enable brands to tie into their ambition of buying the things they love while giving back to the environment through more sustainable shopping” – says Alex Gallagher, Chief Strategy Officer at UNiDAYS.
“With three-quarters of students now buying second-hand clothing, the market demand, and thus opportunity is there for brands who embrace pre-loved. For most brands, this also means developing an in-store offer as nearly half of the students prefer shopping on the high street”.

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