The notion that, with fashion, secondhand shopping is an ethical and solutions-focused approach may be both incorrect and contradictory. The dual market is a direct competitor to the primary fashion industry, yet people may be more encouraged to purchase garments brand new if they believe they’ll make some money back selling it secondhand at some point. But that approach appears to be one that is neither sustainable nor forward thinking and this consumer-driven causal effect, with both pros and cons, highlights that those trying to do the right thing may unintentionally be contributing to the problem.
"I think people now when they're buying new clothes are thinking about whether they’ll be able to make their money back. This Glassons jacket [pictured] for example, even this had value in the secondhand market. So instead of someone thinking a dress will cost them $200.00, they're thinking I wonder how much this would be worth in the secondhand market after I’ve worn it a few times. I have a friend who buys Ruby and she knows that she'll be able to make money back because it's hard to find Ruby secondhand.
Growing up I didn’t know anything about ethical fashion, then at age 16 I found out all this stuff about fast fashion and what it was doing so now I try to avoid buying any clothes brand new. Everything that I'm wearing right now, except for my shoes and my bra, are secondhand. But I’ve had discussions about this with my friends, that we are potentially fuelling an unethical secondhand market. If everyone started only buying secondhand then we lose fashion altogether because there would be nothing new coming out. We'd lose innovation. We’d lose new designs. We’d lose businesses, and that’s not good."
(Conversation with Nisa marketing manager Shannon Wray.)