SHEIN, a fast-fashion platform, launched its second-hand trading platform SHEIN Exchange. SHEIN Exchange, a partnership between SHEIN and resale technology platform Treet, is currently only available to U.S. consumers and is scheduled to expand to other markets around the world next year.
According to SHEIN's website, this is a customer-to-customer resale shopping platform used to buy and sell SHEIN's second-hand goods. The platform opens up the previous shopping history of SHEIN users, who can access this service through the SHEIN app or official website, and then resell any SHIEN products they have previously purchased.
Earlier data from Eurostat, the European statistics office, showed that fast fashion purchases are gradually decreasing in Europe, accounting for only 2% of Europe's GDP in 2021, 4 percentage points lower than before the outbreak of the epidemic in 2020. The main reasons for the decline include the popularity of second-hand platforms in addition to the ever-changing economic situation.
SHEIN launched a survey of purchasing behavior in mid-2022 primarily for the U.S. youth population. According to its published report, more and more consumers are restraining their spending desires and want to change their past spending habits amidst the increasingly severe global inflation in 2022.
Nearly 90 percent of respondents believe they will spend less on apparel products in the future if inflation continues for a long time and economic pressures remain high, with more than 80 percent saying they will face inflation and economic pressures by wearing their existing clothes over and over again. In addition, more than half of the survey respondents said they have shifted from higher-priced brands to cheaper brands in the face of an increasingly challenging global environment and will rely on buying discounted products if the cost of living continues to rise.
However, 89% of people who are concerned about inflation are still reluctant to cut back on their new clothing purchases and are instead looking to make adjustments in their purchasing channels, such as buying lower-priced alternatives or buying second-hand clothing directly.
As global consumer pressure remains high, many fast fashion brands are focusing on the "circular second-hand economy" to meet the shift in consumer behavior.
For example, UNIQLO, H&M, and ZARA have been recycling used clothes for charity or making new products since a few years ago. In April 2022, SHEIN joined them by announcing the launch of its new eco-friendly sub-brand evoluSHEIN, which uses recycled polyester to make clothes. evoluSHEIN maintains SHEIN's advantage as before with an average price of $5-$10 for each garment.
Adam Whinston, SHEIN's Global Head of Environment, Society, and Governance, said "SHEIN is committed to building a more responsible fashion ecosystem and the launch of evoluSHEIN is an essential step in SHEIN's commitment to sustainability." Now it seems that the new second-hand sub-brand SHEIN Exchange should be another important step in SHEIN's sustainable development after evoluSHEIN's "circular economy".
Generation Z, as the main force of global consumption, has experienced the shift from offline to online consumption and is the most active group in the second-hand market. 62% of U.S. Gen Z and Millennial consumers say they will give priority to purchasing used goods, and nearly half consider evaluating whether there is a resale value in an item before placing an order.
According to GlobalData, the global second-hand clothing market will reach $119 billion in 2022, growing three times faster than the overall apparel market, with North America, Europe, and Asia being the three fastest-growing regions. The growth rate is expected to reach 127%, and the market size to exceed $200 billion by 2026.
In the face of the complex and volatile global economy and the downward global consuming, SHEIN launched the second-hand sub-brand either to reverse its reputation of "wastefulness" or be driven by interests, since it sees a huge potential in the second-hand market that is worth exploring.
It is foreseeable that keywords like "low-carbon life", "environmental protection economy", and "second-hand economy" must be a global trend, and will gradually penetrate the consumers of all countries and reach a consensus. There is no doubt that more and more corporate brands will join in.
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