Shoppers Contemplate Conscious Consumerism

Study shows that consumers of secondhand fashion have a strong green streak.

ThredUp consumers are already invested in the circular economy simply by dint of buying and selling on the site, but with the self-evaluation and introspection inspired by the New Year, they, and others, want to do better.

The world’s largest fashion resale marketplace surveyed 1,000 women nationwide before Jan. 1 and found consumers intent on being less wasteful in 2019 and expressing sentiments about conscious consumerism.

The company said the results are “promising, with the majority of women polled saying they’re prioritizing sustainable living and shopping habits over more traditional New Year’s resolutions.” The results of the survey bode well for a more circular fashion future as retailers provide more sustainable solutions in response to the needs of greener consumers.

More than half of the women surveyed, or 58 percent, said they’ll reduce their waste in 2019, while 84 percent said they’ll shop more sustainably, and 42 percent said they’ll reduce waste by shopping secondhand. According to ThredUp, Gen Z is most likely to make eco-friendly decisions, with 70 percent of the cohort agreeing that “being less wasteful is a top New Year’s resolution.” The group was followed by 26- to 37-year-olds, 58 percent; women aged 51-plus, 57 percent; 22- to 25-year-olds, 56 percent, and 38- to 50-year-olds, 51 percent.

ThredUp said younger generations are the most adamant about slowing down fast fashion, with Millennials 29 percent more likely to stop buying disposable brands. About 50 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds plan to shop secondhand, compared with 43 percent of women on average. Half of Gen Z women were resolved to buy higher-quality products that last longer, compared with 42 percent of women on average.

Millennials and Gen Z ranked the ways they plan to be more eco-friendly in 2019: the top response was recycle, followed by upcycle or shop secondhand, buy sustainable products, carpool, use public transportation, eat less meat, buy less fast fashion and compost.

One of the stumbling blocks for consumers has been the high cost of green or eco-friendly apparel. ThredUp gave itself a plug as one of the companies making conscious consumerism possible with low prices with its 35,000 items discounted up to 90 percent. The decision to buy isn’t solely based on price. While 57 percent of women said they wanted products that save money, 45 percent stated they want products that do good.

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