PARIS — The pre-owned market is set to grow around 12 percent a year, outpacing luxury industry growth to reach a 9 percent share of the personal luxury goods market, according to estimates from a survey conducted by the Boston Consulting Group and luxury fashion resale platform Vestiaire Collective.
The study, titled “Why luxury brands should celebrate the pre-owned boom,” was based on a survey of more than 1,000 Vestiaire Collective clients and 12,000 surveyed for a BCG and Altagamma survey.
“Millennials and Gen Z are disrupting the market and placing greater importance on the social and environmental impact of their purchases than previous generations,” said the authors of the study, who estimated that purchasing behavior of 59 percent of luxury customers in both primary and secondary markets is influenced by ecological considerations, and that 17 percent of secondhand market buyers purchase pre-owned products because they consider it “sustainable behavior,” to do so.
“The secondhand market prolongs the life of luxury products,” said Olivier Abtan, managing director and partner of BCG.
Growing concern about the environment has sent the fashion industry scrambling to answer rising demands from consumers across the spectrum for companies to adopt more ecologically friendly practices.
Many luxury companies have defended their businesses with the argument that their products are meant to last longer.
Expanding on this view, Vestiaire Collective has also positioned itself as a gateway for new consumers in luxury, drawing them in with more accessible prices.
“The secondhand market has democratized fashion by bringing luxury clothes and accessories to a wider audience,” said Maximilian Bittner, chief executive officer of Vestiaire Collective.
Researchers for the study concluded that the resale industry will increase from an estimated $25 billion in 2018 to $36 billion in 2021.
Much of the growth in secondhand luxury sales will take place online, where a quarter of such sales take place, said BCG researchers, in the study.
It’s not just an eco-friendly attitude driving these purchases, however — shoppers are on the hunt for bargains, with around 96 percent of buyers in the study saying their purchases were also motivated in part by the quest for a good deal.