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QSA Report: Does buying pre-loved clothing mean buying less new?

QSA Partners recently released its consumer survey report on weather buying pre-loved clothing means buying less new clothes. Consumer attitudes and demands are changing and the fashion industry needs to respond to that. Buying and selling second-hand clothing, footwear and accessories have gone from niche to being a large portion of the market. Fashion brands that aren’t addressing this will lose out. Clothing retailers could take a quick and easy step towards reducing their environmental impact by taking back clothes from their customers and reselling them on the second-hand market – but what is the commercial potential of doing so? This is the focus of new research that QSA has published recently. Aiming to identify how much of a commercial opportunity the used clothing market in the UK represents for clothing brands, the survey looked at whether second-hand clothing purchases stop people from buying new clothes.


QSA commissioned online research in October 2019 with 2,100 UK respondents who completed a set of questions to determine whether they had purchased any used or pre-loved clothing items in 2019 and if they had, how many. They were then asked detailed questions about their recent purchases to gain further information on behavioural patterns.


The findings showed that one in three people had bought used and vintage clothing in 2019, around 50% of women and 25% of men. What stood out though was that approximately 60% of respondents declared that buying the used garment had prevented or delayed them from buying a new item of the same type. To find a more detailed version of the report and its findings, please click here.

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