Until around a decade ago, buying second-hand clothing was something for artists and bohemians, or people who wanted to save money. But now everything has changed: with the pandemic, many people have realised that they have things they don’t use anymore, and they’ve decided to get rid of them.
The vintage market is back in fashion. Really, it’s never been more fashionable. A consecration that coincided with the Covid-19 epidemic. What happened?
Look at used clothing in a different way
It’s likely that the pandemic accelerated the evolution of fashion consumption in a smarter direction. We’ve all changed our habits, with new priorities in terms of time, budget and comfort.
In Italy, like in many other countries, second-hand clothing purchases are on the rise: sellers looking to get rid of unused apparel and accessories have found buyers searching for unique pieces, and often at a lower price.
After months of confinement, we have seen our impact on the planet and our way of consuming with new eyes.
Many brands have also become aware of this, including Levi’s, which launched Levi’s SecondHand: a buy-back program that allows customers to return used jeans and jackets to its stores in exchange for a gift card.
Reasons for the success of the vintage market
There are 3 reasons second-hand clothing is working well:
- YOU SAVE MONEYIn the vintage market, you can find excellent quality or luxury brand apparel that would cost a lot new. You can save on something that you already know will last over time.
- YOU’RE ORIGINAL
Within the broad and varied vintage market, you can always find something original and personal. It’s a reaction to standardisation in the world of fashion which, especially caused by fast fashion, drives everyone to buy the same things at a lower price. It’s for those who want a unique style all their own.
- YOU’RE GREEN
If you buy used, you’re helping the environment. Sensitivity to the environment is very high among young people and has become even stronger during the pandemic. Manufacturing new apparel at low prices, which often quickly falls out of fashion, pollutes and requires an enormous waste of resources, while reusing an item of clothing that is already in the market is the more ethical and sustainable solution. Dressing is an environmental problem: we manufacture a lot, we pollute a lot and then we throw practically everything away.
Where can you buy vintage?
Online there are many portals where you can buy second-hand clothing. Depop, for example, is a social network where you can open a virtual store and upload images of clothes. Depop retains 10% from every successful sale. You can use it if you want to start a second-hand store online, or if you just want to get rid of a few clothes that you don’t wear anymore.
Besides Depop, there are large second-hand luxury resellers, like Vestiaire Collective, The RealReal, Chrono24 and Lyst.