GenZs, millennials are turning to thrift stores to upgrade their wardrobe while saving the environment

GenZs, millennials are turning to thrift stores to upgrade their wardrobe while saving the environment

Posted on Oct 06, 2022

In an attempt to reduce fashion’s carbon footprint on Earth, young millennial and GenZ consumers are going out of their way to upcycle and resell their clothes online and increase their wardrobe’s shelf life.

In the last few years, many small thrift stores have mushroomed on Instagram. As of August 16, there were 8 million hashtags on thrift shops, 12.6 million hashtags on thrift and over 653k posts around thrift in India alone.

Sustainability is at the heart of this trend. Consumers look for pre-loved, long-lasting clothes that are one of a kind and inexpensive. The cherry on top is that these second-hand clothes don’t add to the mushrooming landfills, instead they find a new home and are loved by another consumer yet again.

According to market research firm Talkwalker, GenZ has mastered the art of upcycling and reselling clothes, thanks to online thrift stores and the ability to start their own shops.

A thrift store is essentially a place that sells clothing that was once worn or used by someone else, and also includes shoes, accessories, books, etc.

Another report by global thrift retailer ThredUp notes second-hand apparel is becoming a global phenomenon and is expected to grow 127% by 2026, with Asian countries witnessing a 3-fold growth.

Globally, second-hand clothes already occupy 9% of the overall fashion closets and thrifting is expected to grow to 31%, with US, Europe, Asia and Africa leading the trend.

This trend – which has also caught the attention of Bollywood stars such as Alia Bhatt, Genelia Deshmukh and Bhumi Pednekar – is reshaping the fashion industry.

A movement against fast-fashion; building affordability

Thrifting aims to challenge the growing prominence of fast-fashion, which encourages consumers to buy more frequently at low prices, a trend started by brands like H&M and Zara. Fast-fashion is also fueled by social media, which make consumers believe that they need to dress as per the latest styles.

Thrifting, on the other hand, ensures that a piece of cloth is used to its fullest as it moves across different closets, before it finally ends up in a landfill – fully utilized.

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