Getting a good deal just isn’t satisfying when the item you’ve purchased is bound to fall apart sooner rather than later. That’s one reason more and more shoppers are turning their focus to the resale market, where gently used gems can be found for incredible bargains.
Over the last three years, the fashion resale market has grown 21 times faster than the retail market, and it’s showing no signs of stopping any time soon. A $24 billion market in 2018, it’s expected to grow up to one and a half times the size of the fast fashion market within the next decade, according to the 2019 Resale Report by resale outlet ThredUP.
Though the thrill of the hunt is still a major factor in its popularity, the 21st-century version of resale uses the internet to break beyond the boundaries of traditional thrift store exploration. These days, you don’t have to rely on sheer luck to happen upon great finds in your size. Apps like ThredUP, Depop, and Poshmark make it easy to shop straight from other people’s closets and unload your own unwanted garments, shoes, and accessories.
Now, the Kardashian-Jenners are getting in on the game. You gotta hand it to them — the family of moguls have shown that they always have their finger on the pulse, growing their collective empire far beyond what anyone would have guessed back when Keeping Up with the Kardashians first premiered in 2007.
Launched in early October, Kardashian Kloset is a new online resale boutique offering items from the personal wardrobes of Kim, Kylie, and their mother Kris to start, with pieces from Kourtney, Khloe, and Kendall’s closets coming later. As you might expect, there are lots of designer pieces in the mix, but Vogue Business reports that other items will be listed for as little as $20, so there should be something for everyone (assuming your personal style is on the Kardashian wavelength, of course).
Given how few items are available at the moment, it may not seem like much — and it’s certainly a drop in the bucket in terms of contribution to Kylie Jenner’s net worth of $1 billion USD. But Vogue Business says the endorsement from these cultural tastemakers could help the resale market gain credibility in the eyes of the consumer.
“Influential celebrities can instantly eliminate the stigma attached to the secondary market,” says Marc Beckman, founding partner and CEO of Advertising and Representation Agency DMA United. He adds: “The Kardashian’s participation, if executed properly, will certainly accelerate acceptance and sales of previously owned and used merchandise.”
This isn’t the first time the Kardashian-Jenners have passed their used merchandise onto fans. They’ve auctioned off pieces from their wardrobes on sites like eBay, often donating the proceeds to charity. Very little information is available about the future plans for Kardashian Kloset, so it’s unclear thus far where the money from these sales will go or how its offerings might continue to expand.
In any case, Kardashian’s Kloset and the general popularity of resale are a promising sign for the future of sustainable fashion. Not everyone has the cash to buy brand new ethically made organic clothing (or designer clothing of any kind, for that matter), and the resale market ensures that existing items are put to the greatest possible amount of use before they’re discarded for good. If its popularity continues to grow as projected, the fashion resale market could keep a whole lot of clothing out of global landfills.