Sustainable Secondhand Christmas Is Around The Corner, Says B-Stock Report

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According to the world’s largest online B2B platform for returned and excess consumer items, B-Stock Solutions, the secondhand apparel market is growing 21 times faster than the primary market, making secondhand gifts a likely trend this Christmas season. The company, which was founded in 2008, argues that this shift is predominantly driven by more conscious consumers who are looking to make sustainable choices, and the rise in popularity online resale platforms. Known to be one of the most wasteful festive seasons of the year, these stats give us a positive outlook for a trend towards greener Christmases ahead. 

B-Stock recently revealed that the secondhand fashion market is growing 21 times faster than the mainstream market, citing the increasing popularity of online consignment marketplaces and young eco-forward consumers as the key reasons for the trend. With these figures, the B2B returned and excess inventory platform predicts we’re headed for a secondhand gift-giving trend this Christmas

The stats show that certain preloved goods will be trending for this year’s seasonal holiday. These highlighted items include designer purses and handbags, denim, footwear and boots, and brand-name watches. These gifts make much more sustainable gifts than buying new, given that consumer goods – especially those produced by the fashion industry – produce hefty amounts of waste that ends up in landfills or are incinerated, as well as water, air, and soil pollution. 

“We have witnessed a shift in consumer attitudes towards sustainable shopping, which shows no sign of slowing down for the gift-giving season…As a result, giving the gift of used will be in vogue this year,” said B-Stock’s EMEA director Ben Whitaker.

According to B-Stock’s analysis, within the past two years alone, we have seen a 254% increase in transactions for used apparel – a trend that is set to stay “long into the future” – so we might be looking at many more sustainable gifts given in Christmases ahead. Much of this is driven by a shift in consumer behaviour where shoppers, especially the younger generation, are looking to make more sustainable buying decisions. A recent study by the Center for Sustainable Business (CSB) at New York University revealed that shoppers are now buying more sustainably-marketed products than ever before, and this appetite for eco-friendly products is consistent across virtually every single goods category.

While new online resale and consignment stores are becoming increasingly popular, it is putting pressure on existing retailers to look for more eco-forward business practices, or risk losing consumer attraction in the future. In China, the rental and secondhand fashion market is booming: it is set to take over a fifth of the country’s GDP by 2025, according to a WEF report. To keep up, mainstream stores are looking for ways to hop on the trend – Whitaker explains that in recent years, more companies have approached B-Stock’s platform for a recommerce solution to enable retailers to sell bulk merchandise to secondary buyers. They’ve done so not only to offset inventory loss, but to ensure that these items won’t end up as waste in landfills

These trends give us hope that we might be able to reverse the conventional wasteful trend associated with most holiday seasons – and perhaps most of all with Christmas. With better online access to resale platforms and stronger consumer desire for responsible purchasing, “giving the gift of sustainability has become this year’s Christmas fashion which everyone wants to wear,” concludes Whitaker.


Lead image courtesy of Fly For Good.

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