Business Fripes : Is the second-hand market booming?


Today, more than 100 billion garments are sold worldwide. Production doubled between 2000 and 2014. In France, 600,000 tonnes of clothing are marketed (2,5 billion pieces). 210,000 tonnes are now collected and sorted (9,2kg per person including 3.2kg collected and sorted).

We consume four times as much clothing as we did 30 years ago. According to another study by the French company RecyTextile, textile waste is estimated to weigh 8 million tonnes per year, the equivalent of 50 billion t-shirts. 

Today, many fashion players are determined to change things, and to revolutionize the way we buy and wear our clothes. There are three different opportunity business models, which offer solutions that are a good short-term “dressing” but are not the solution for the textile sector. 


Here, the garment is showcased, then resold without modification or customization of the material. It’s the easiest way to resell clothes you don’t use anymore. The famous platforms Vinted, United Warbode, or Vestiaire Collective, will allow you to sell your clothes on the internet, while using free applications. When multi-brands offer second-hand clothing, they specialize, such as at Asos Vintage, or an Urban Outfitters Vintage, where you will find treats for all budgets, with a touch of unique style. 

Urban Renewal

2. RENT : Save money by renting clothes ! 

A real innovation through the mode of consumption, rent rather than buy. This may seem strange at first glance, but more and more brands are putting their business model at the heard of this strategy, such as: 


This is the method that requires the most work :

  • Recycling
  • Sort
  • Creation of new threads
  • Confection

There are two ways to create a new yarn with old fibers :

  • Mechanical 
  • Chemical 

The mechanical process : Here, we extract the fiber, we scrape it and the fibers come out. In the end, there is no more clothing, just fibers, and those fibers will become clothing again. The properties of the fibers will be less good than new fibers, because the fibers are smaller. Ideally, these recycled fibres should be mixed with virgin fibres to provide the same properties as a new fibre. 

The chemical process : Here, we melt the garment to obtain the basic polymer. Once the piece melts, we remake threads, to recreate a garment

In both cases, converting recycled fibres is quite energy-intensive but opportunities will soon appear to reduce energy consumption. On the market, there will be more and more regenerated materials, and with qualities and properties as good as new materials. 

To give you some ideas, here are a few brands and brands that use recycled materials in their collections : 

Sources :

  • Timeout for fast fashion, Greenpeace, 2014.
  • Éco tlc, 2016

Feel free to visit my youtube channel where you can find more content on innovative textiles, and textile news here :Youtube GreenyBirdDress.

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