Buy, use, sell, repeat: Resale companies’ role in sufficiency-based circular economy

Tutkimustuotos: Artikkeli kirjassa/konferenssijulkaisussaConference article in proceedingsScientific

66 Lataukset (Pure)


Companies operating in the resale market play a crucial role in circulating pre-used and -owned garments in the fashion market. The global secondhand apparel market is expected to grow three times faster than the global apparel market overall (ThredUp 2023).

Resale and secondhand can be regarded as one of the circular economy initiatives, enabling consumers and society to make do with less. While the extensive growth of the resale market shows successful customer activation in product circulation, it is reasonable to ask whether and how the secondhand companies are also encouraging extended use of garments. This paper examines secondhand companies’ marketing practices in the light of sufficiency-based circular economy.

The empirical data collection consists of systematic observations from the resale context. First, the secondhand market and business models were mapped. Then, the offerings, marketing practices and consumer engagement of secondhand companies were examined. Ethnographic data was collected for 6 months: 11/2022 – 04/2023, both online and offline in Finland.

Preliminary findings show that secondhand companies offer a wide spectrum of activities that both support and hinder circular economy practices and sufficiency. While the increase in services offered for consumer-sellers has increased the prices of used items, it has simultaneously brought the merchandising and communication practices closer to the traditional fashion market and linear logic. The increased servitization has enhanced attractiveness and convenience. From sufficiency perspective, the main concern is whether the current marketing practices multiply the owners and decrease the usage times instead of celebrating the reuse and longevity of garments.
OtsikkoPROCEEDINGS 5th PLATE Conference
ToimittajatKirsi Niinimäki, Kirsti Cura
KustantajaAalto University
ISBN (elektroninen)978-952-64-1367-9
TilaJulkaistu - 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiB3 Vertaisarvioimaton artikkeli konferenssijulkaisussa
TapahtumaProduct Lifetimes and the Environment - Aalto University, Espoo, Suomi
Kesto: 31 toukok. 20232 kesäk. 2023
Konferenssinumero: 5


NimiAalto University publication series ART + DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE
KustantajaAalto University
ISSN (elektroninen)1799-4861


ConferenceProduct Lifetimes and the Environment


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