Sustainability fuels growth of APAC resale and rental apparel market, says GlobalData

The resale and the rental models are two different ways to achieve a circular economy. However, resale has gained more traction than the rental model in recent times due to a slew of investments and luxury brand partnerships. Emphasizing on the importance of circular economy and sustainability in the retail business, 39%* and 29%* of the Asia-Pacific (APAC) shoppers state that they are buying second-hand clothing and footwear items respectively. On the other hand, 16%* and 13%* of shoppers revealed that they are opting for rented clothing and footwear items respectively, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to the GlobalData Q2 global consumer survey, 27%* and 20%* of consumers stated that they will continue to purchase second hand/pre-loved clothing and footwear items respectively over the next 12 months, whereas 15%* and 13%* of shoppers intended to choose rental options for purchasing clothing and footwear items respectively.u

Ankita Roy, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed consumption habits with the consumers being reluctant to spend more on ownership of discretionary products like apparel as income has decreased due to the economic slowdown. There is uncertainty on how these models will fare in the long run as people are sceptical of using shared services to avoid the risk of transmission of COVID-19 along with constrained finance. However, with the luxury brands collaborating with resale platforms, second-hand items have witnessed a higher participation rate.”

Clothing is the most popular rental and resale category followed by accessories and footwear in the APAC region. GlobalData Q2 consumer survey reveals 12%*, 11%* and 10%* of shoppers are purchasing second-hand clothing, accessories and footwear items respectively more often than usual.

Ms. Roy concludes: “A growing trend among consumers, especially the younger generation, has been to move away from permanent ownership of old clothing and look for sustainability and affordability fulfilled by rental and resale services. This also enables them to refresh their wardrobes. Hence, clothing remains the most preferred category in the rental and resale market.

“China, the largest apparel retail market in the region has a booming second-hand apparel market as well on the account of Gen Z and millennials being core consumers who love variety in their closets and on their social media pages and can be thrifty in the process of buying. Similarly, in India, the resale market which is cheap and sustainable is also a growing trend although buyers’ confidence remains a key issue in buying used clothes amidst the pandemic. Resellers must resolve the issue of inventory replenishment to cater to consumers’ demands in India. If taken care of these factors, there is a huge long-term growth potential of second-hand and rental models in the region.”

*Data taken from GlobalData’s survey of 6,000 APAC consumers, aged 16+ conducted in early May 2021

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