Summary of our market study

The second-hand clothing market has experienced considerable growth, driven by younger consumers and growing ecological awareness. The global market, expected to reach $200 billion, continues to thrive as consumers become more cost-conscious and sustainable in their fashion choices. While the French market was faced with a general decline in sales of new vestements, down 15%, sales of second-hand clothing surged, accounting for 3.6% of the overall clothing market in France. Online platforms such as Vinted took a significant market share, with Vinted's user base in France reaching 8 million out of 21 million users.

Interest in second-hand luxury goods is also growing, helping to stimulate the market overall. Africa has become a major importer of second-hand clothing, mainly from Europe, underlining the global interconnectedness of the sector. as the sector evolves, more and more brands and retailers are implementing their own second-hand clothing initiatives, pointing to a paradigm shift towards a more sustainable and economically attractive market structure beyond 2020.

Trends in the French second-hand clothing market: a move towards sustainability and affordable fashion

The French second-hand clothing market is experiencing a resurgence in popularity, mainly due to the younger generation's desire for affordable fashion and greater ecological awareness. This increase in demand represents both an opportunity and a challenge for the sector, as consumer behavior shifts towards sustainability without compromising style and variety. In France, around 30-40% of the population now buys second-hand clothes, with this rate doubling from 15% to over 30%. This upward trend is particularly evident among young French people, where a third of those aged 18 to 24 are said to be involved in buying second-hand clothes. Environmental motivations play a key role, with over 60% of these young consumers acknowledging that their second-hand clothing purchases are motivated by a desire to mitigate the fashion industry's impact on the environment.

While ethical and sustainable buying habits are on the rise, price remains a predominant factor for consumers in the second-hand market. With 63% of customers citing cost as the main reason for their choice, there is a clear demand for affordable clothing. This consumer preference for lower prices is not only reviving traditional second-hand stores, but also encouraging new second-hand store concepts that focus on vintage items and unique garments.

The online realm has become an essential part of the thrift store revolution, with Internet sales of second-hand goods growing at a steady 35% a year, far outstripping the growth of brick-and-mortar thrift stores. Platforms such as Vinted, which boasts between 15 and 20 million French members, underline the significant influence of the Internet on the second-hand goods sector.

An interesting feature of the second-hand market for luxury goods is that it is particularly attractive to those looking for high-end products at reduced prices. This niche is gaining in importance, with luxury boutiques specializing in high-end products for customers looking for quality brands.

In short, the growing trend towards ecological consumption, combined with the financial advantages of buying second-hand, is reshaping the French clothing market. The digital market is becoming a major player, skyrocketing the popularity and affordability of second-hand clothing. As more and more people seek second-hand clothes for their wardrobes, a new era of sustainable, affordable and fashionable clothing consumption is taking hold in the French market.

Emerging titans of the second-hand clothing market

The second-hand clothing market has seen the emergence and growth of several key players who have significantly influenced the sustainable fashion landscape. Each entity has carved out a distinct niche, contributing to a vibrant thrift store ecosystem that offers consumers a unique blend of affordability, quality and eco-friendly shopping.

  • Vinted - Champion of peer-to-peer resale

As a major force in peer-to-peer clothing resale, Vinted has created a user-friendly platform where individuals can buy, sell and exchange clothing with ease. Boasting a strong community of fashion enthusiasts, Vinted attracts mainly a young population eager to refresh their wardrobe while being environmentally conscious.

  • Vestiaire Collective - Curator of pre-owned luxury goods

Specializing in high-end fashion, Vestiaire Collective has positioned itself as a destination of choice for those looking for luxury items without the high price tag. The platform is known for offering a carefully selected selection of designer clothing and accessories, attracting buyers with high standards and a taste for the finer things in life.

  • Leboncoin - The French marketplace par excellence

Offering a vast collection of items, including clothing, Leboncoin has earned its status as the go-to marketplace for French consumers. Although it's not exclusively about fashion, its broad reach means that clothing occupies an important place among the various categories of goods available for purchase.

  • Depop - The fashionable vintage center

Depop captures the essence of vintage and streetwear culture, targeting fashion-forward young people looking for unique pieces with retro flair. The app's social media-inspired interface has proved particularly popular with younger users, cementing its reputation as a hip, alternative shopping destination.

  • ThredUp - America's thrift store giant

Dominating the American market, ThredUp has been making waves with its wide assortment of second-hand clothing. The platform attracts not only eco-conscious consumers, but also those looking for a bargain on everyday clothing, promoting thrift store culture on a massive scale.

  • Kilo Shop- Weigh and pay for vintage finds

Thanks to its innovative weight-based pricing system, Kilo Shop offers shoppers the chance to hunt down vintage treasures and pay by the kilo. This approach not only adds an element of fun to shopping, but also makes high-quality vintage clothing accessible at an affordable price.

  • Emmaüs and Ding Fring - The choice of solidarity

Reinforcing the principle of social entrepreneurship, Emmaüs and Ding Fring are also important players.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

A thrift shop is a retail business that sells second-hand clothes. There are two types of thrift shops:

  • The thrift stores run by charities, whose clothing is donated by individuals;
  • Those operating on the principle of deposit and sale: individuals sell their clothes to the second-hand clothing shop, which acts as a commercial intermediary.

The interest of second-hand shops is twofold: not only can you find low-priced clothes, but also vintage-style clothes. Buying second-hand clothes in these shops is becoming more and more chic and is gradually becoming a way of life, with sales being driven mainly by young people and benefiting from a growing ecological awareness. Thus, the second-hand market in France has experienced a real boom in recent years, so much so that it is now considered to be competing with the fast fashion market. Paradoxically, fast fashion brands are also trying to respond to this need for more sustainable fashion by launching their own online resale platforms for second-hand clothes.

Although physical shops are still very popular, the Internet plays a considerable role in this sector, as shown by the success of second-hand and resale clothing platforms such as Vinted or Depop.

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Taille du marché de la mode d'occasion et prévisions
  • Taille du marché de la mode d'occasion et prévisions
  • Part de marché des habits de seconde main en fonction de la génération
  • Evolution de l'indice du chiffre d'affaires du commerce de détail de l'habillement en magasin
  • Lieux d'achat des vetements
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Latest news

Five things you need to know about Inditex, the owner of Zara stores - 17/09/2023
  • Founded sixty years ago, the group is now the third-largest in the sector in terms of value (after Dior and Nike),
  • Present in 94 countries by the end of 2022, with over 160,000 employees
  • Inditex flagship Zara. The brand operates 1,878 points of sale by the end of April 2023.
  • In France, the brand has 113 stores.
  • Since 2020, the Inditex group has been closing less profitable stores.
  • In the United States, the brand is on a roll: a total of 35 stores are scheduled to open in 2023, making it the second-largest market after Spain.
  • Zara and Inditex have played a major role in the creation of the "fast fashion" concept.
  • Today, the group comprises seven brands: Zara (clothing and home furnishings with Zara Home), Pull & Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho (underwear, swimwear and sportswear) and Massimo Dutti in the high-end segment.
  • The total number of stores is 5,800.
  • In 2020, with the Covid pandemic, online sales soared by 77% for the group as a whole, representing a third of the total.
  • Most garments are produced in Spain, Portugal, Morocco or Turkey, while competitors continue to produce largely in Asia.
Bershka, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius: the recipes behind Inditex's phenomenal success with teenagers - 14/09/2023
  • The Inditex Group, which owns Bershka, Zara, Stradivarius, Pull and Bear, Oysho and Massimo Dutti, has forecast net earnings of €2.51 billion for 2023
  • Bershka, P&B and Stradivarius account for just 20% of group sales, while Zara accounts for over 70% of total sales.
  • All brands reported year-on-year sales growth
  • Bershka saw its sales increase by 12.3% this year
  • Chinese competitor SheIn achieved estimated sales of $30 billion in 2022, almost as much as all Inditex banners combined in the same year (32 billion euros).
  • Bershka, Stradivarius and Pull&Bear have stores in Europe.
Zara launches Pre-owned, its second-hand platform, on Thursday - 07/09/2023
  • The second-hand market is growing in France
  • The Inditex group, owner of Zara, is the world leader in "fast fashion"
  • Zara has launched its second-hand platform, Pre-Owned, in France after a test launch in the UK in November 2022
  • Inditex aims to generate a third of its revenues from online sales
  • Nearly one in two shoppers in France has already resorted to second-hand shopping
  • Second-hand purchases account for up to 15% of all purchases in France
  • Vinted, France's second-hand market leader, has 23 million subscribers
  • The Pre-Owned platform offers a clothing repair or trade-in service, for a fee of just a few euros
Zara launches its second-hand platform - 02/09/2023
  • The Inditex group has launched its "Pre Owned" second-hand platform in France.
  • Inditex Group sales reached 32.57 billion euros in 2022.
  • The second-hand market is worth 105 billion euros worldwide, according to bpifrance.
  • Second-hand platforms such as Vinted are well established in France.
  • The "Pre Owned" platform is due to be launched in Germany and Spain by the end of 2023.
Zara posts triumphant results - 16/03/2023
  • 4.13 billion euros in profits
  • 32.57 billion euros in sales
  • 50% of garment manufacturing close to home
  • 8.5% of net operating income from Russia
  • 4% growth in online sales
  • 10% reduction in total retail floor space
  • Some 30 store openings in the United States by 2025
Inditex: Market uncertainty - 15/03/2023

Key figures

  • - Record net income of 4.13 billion euros in 2022
  • - Operating margin of 16.9% in 2023-2024
  • - Sales of 32.56 billion euros in 2022-2023
  • - Zara sales up 21
  • - Capital expenditure of 1.6 billion euros in 2023
  • - Cash generation of 3.6 billion euros in 2022

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :
Vide Dressing
Kilo Shop
Fripouille vintage
Petite Chineuse
Inditex groupe (Zara)

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