2020 is the year of Vintage, Secondhand and Upcycling 

2020 is the year of Vintage, Secondhand and Upcycling 

2020 is the year of Vintage, Secondhand and Upcycling 

Whilst 2020 may be remembered for many other things, in the world of fashion, 2020 is the year vintage, secondhand and upcycling took off. 

The fashion industry saw a record 79% decline in spending in April, in the early days of the pandemic. Most of us had little reason to shop for new clothes – except for loungewear (which is still growing). 

But not needing new clothes wasn’t the only factor in the decline this year. A perfect storm of crises caused fashion to lose some lustre in 2020. 

Spending is once again on the rise, but the industry isn’t likely to fully recover for several years. But what will get shoppers excited again? Will there be a renewed interest in sustainable brands? Or vintage, second-hand clothes? 

Vintage, Secondhand and Upcycling trends

Lyst’s annual Year in Fashion reports confirmed a rising interest in used clothes. In September, as customers looked for their fall wardrobe, “vintage fashion” generated more than 35,000 new searches on Lyst. And entries for secondhand-related keywords increased 104%. Those planning a socially-distanced wedding were also looking for “vintage”, “secondhand” or “pre-owned” wedding dresses, with searches spiking 38%. Lyst suggests secondhand wedding dresses may have been inspired by the vintage Norma Hartnell dress Princess Beatrice wore to her July wedding. 

For those thinking about sustainable fashion, the efforts of some big brands such as Levi’s introducing a Secondhand shop and designers from Spring 2021 collections confirming they’d used leftover fabrics from past collections, may have also had an impact. Luxury brand Gucci launched a major collaboration with The RealReal, something, just a few years ago, would have seemed impossible. But brands still need to do more, and we’re hoping they make the switch to sustainable fashion. 

These brands and many more have certainly helped spike interest in upcycled and secondhand goods, especially among young shoppers. ThredUp predicts the resale market will hit $64 billion by 2024, and the online secondhand market will grow 69% by 2021. 

Circular fashion is undeniably the future. 

Our expert, fashion designer and champion of sustainable accessories, weighs in on how luxury can still be eco-friendly. 

Find out more on Insta Talk e10

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