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Cost and sustainability-minded consumers ‘turning to second-hand platforms more often than social media for fashion purchases'

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We all know that the UK fashion space has undergone some profound changes in recent years, driven by both national and global factors, ranging from the cost-of-living crisis to climate concerns. 

So, it should probably not be a great shock to many would-be or current clients of a luxury social media agency like Skywire London, to learn that consumers have been largely drawn to pre-loved fashion lately. 

In fact, according to data from the True Fit platform, UK shoppers now buy apparel twice as often on second-hand platforms as they do on social media. 

Younger shoppers are especially drawn towards the second-hand market 

Delving into the figures from the most recent research, it emerged that of more than 1,000 shoppers in the UK, 20% purchased fashion on pre-loved platforms, compared to the 10% who did so on Facebook, and the 11% who turned to Instagram. 

Looking at the younger Generation Z cohort specifically, 33% of them said they bought fashion items on second-hand platforms, while 25% opted to acquire clothing from vintage outlets, and an additional 30% looked to charity shops for such purchases. 

With the aforementioned three routes to purchasing fashion products being ones focused on second-hand, vintage, and thrift shopping, the combined data represents a powerful vote of confidence in these methods among Gen Zers. For context, 19% of the same demographic buys fashion on Facebook, and 27% uses Instagram. 

The numbers hold important lessons for fashion brands seeking growth 

While the figures do clearly show that the well-known sources of second-hand apparel are winning out over online social networks for many consumers, they do indicate that social media continues to play its own strong role in supporting the growth of fashion businesses.

 However, with it also having been previously predicted – by the market research firm GlobalData – that the worldwide second-hand clothing market will be twice the size of fast fashion by the year 2030, the numbers from True Fit will provide your own fashion brand with plenty more food for thought. 

The trend towards pre-loved fashion among so many consumers means that over the years to come, it might well be the second-hand market through which a lot of your target shoppers come into contact with your brand for the first time. 

And if that does come to pass, will your brand have the right strategy and resources in place to then capture those shoppers for the longer term – including by getting them to take an interest in your newest or current collections? 

There could certainly be rich potential, then, for your brand to tap into the burgeoning popularity of second-hand fashion among the consumers who might go on to dominate your customer base in the years ahead. 

To find out more about how our strategic growth experts and luxury social media agency could help your business get the best out of its campaigns in order to attract and retain customers, please feel free to reach out to the Skywire London team today


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