Alina Clark is as worn out as her pandemic clothes.
Clark, co-founder and CEO of a Los Angeles software development company, said that he has four sets of jeans, seven shirts, and five sweaters. They’re all I have worn over the past two years. My wardrobe and I are suffering from COVID fatigue.
As vaccinations take hold, restrictions are lifted and offices reopen, or plan to do so, there is a wardrobe purge. Primarily beneficiaries are resale websites online and brick-and mortar donation spots. This continues a trend that has been growing for several years.
Poshmark has seen an increase in orders for handbags, work-worthy dresses and other accessories this year. This is true for heels, suit jackets, and blazers.
Projections indicate that the trend is growing stronger. According to a report by GlobalData and ThredUP, the secondhand clothing industry is set to double from $36 billion to $77 million in 2025.
ThredUP CEO James Reinhart said that the growth is due to the influx of quality sellers who are putting high-quality clothing on the market. He estimates that there are 9 billion items of clothing that are not worn that are still in the shoppers’ wardrobes.
Selling secondhand clothes was a popular activity even before the advent of COVID. However, the pandemic brought out a renewed interest in thrift shopping.
Reinhart stated that post-pandemic shoppers are more conscious of the environment and have a higher preference for clothes with a high resale price, as opposed to disposable fast fashion. People who are unable to wear all of their clothes for more than a year are more conscious of waste and will return their clothes to circulation.
Reinhart stated that there is a shift in the way people view clothing consumption. It’s not about buy, wear, throw away. This consciousness was present during the pandemic when people were more sensitive to the notion of waste.
Maia DiDomenico was introduced to ThredUp by her mother during the pandemic. A recent college graduate, the 23-year old Cranford resident, New Jersey native, began a new job with children on the autism spectrum. She purged Athleta sportswear and received $557.60 worth of Athleta gift certificates in return.
She said, “It cleans out your closet quickly, and it gives you the opportunity to donate unworn clothes.”
Clark, 29, has been urging herself to get rid of her overflowing wardrobe for months. She started collecting clothes for charity several weeks ago. She’ll be buying new clothes.
She is looking for “glitz and glamour” since her Zoom life is over and she has begun to enjoy physical get-togethers.
Consumers are consuming more than their pandemic-wearing clothes.
According to a company report, TheRealReal, a luxury resale website, saw pre-owned goods sell for $239 million in May. This is an increase of 53 percent over the same period in 2019.
Jessica Richards, a fashion director and trend forecaster for the Accessories Council (a non-profit trade group), said that some are using the opportunity to reinvent themselves.
We saw many consumers refocus on investing dressing and abandoning their mindless shopping habits. She said that consumers are less’sick’ about their wardrobes and more curious as to why they have so many or how their closets are organized. It’s about streamlining and determining their ideal style image.
However, not everyone wants to give up their COVID lifestyle.
Cameron Howe, 33, is ready to throw out everything she’s worn during the pandemic in Lynchburg, Virginia.
She said that she bought between 15 and 20 pairs of leggings. “In a few days, I will start a new job as a project manager at a local non-profit. To work, I will be wearing leggings. Both my former employer and my new employer are comfortable with leggings. I’m not really interested in wearing real pants again. During the pandemic, I fell in love with leggings.