Pre-loved Fashion on the Runway

Is the pre-loved fashion trend finally making it to the runway?


There is no mistake the fashion industry is under the pump to implement changes following the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21). With the now stricter and higher standards, every sector of the fashion industry is expected to evaluate its sustainability policies. Fast. Meaning brands need to look at all avenues to make a change. Like the runway.

The recent ThredUp Annual Resale Report found that during the pandemic, 40% of customers replaced their fast fashion purchases with thrift buys. Just a pandemic trend? Evidently not. The report predicts the thrift market will outgrow the fast fashion sector by $84 billion by 2030. Luxury brands Gucci, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Diesel are already tapping into this potential by adopting pre-loved category arms on their websites.

Thankfully, where fashion trends go, runway follows. Meaning we should be seeing more pre-loved fashion hitting the runway sooner rather than later. The recent Melbourne Fashion Week gave us a glimpse of what may be to come. Retailers including Reina Melbourne, Madam Virtue & Co and Commes des Garcon were among others who showcased archival pieces during their portions of the show.


Comme des Garcons “18th Century Punk,” AW 2016-17 | Credit: WWD

Brands that are adopting these strategies have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Consumers are showing a far greater interest in shopping from sustainable and second-hand sources following the pandemic. Buyers are planning to spend 40% more in this category within the next 5 years. With 34% of shoppers stating they are more likely to shop with a brand that offers second-hand clothes alongside their new range.

Maybe the future of fashion shows will see a widening focus on key trends from both present and past.

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