Collaborative consumption in fashion – By the implementation of the fast fashion strategy, consumers’ shopping patterns have changed into buying cheaper garments. Also, fashion buyers tend to spend more often to keep up with the fast-changing fashion trends. Recent reports suggest that the amount of disposed textiles is fast-increasing across the world, causing massive environmental, social, and economic mishaps.
As there is an urgent need for new strategies to reduce both, used and unused textile and fabrics waste, the reduction of disposed textiles has become one of the greatest environmental and economic opportunities within the fashion industry.
To react to the new environmental and social challenges, most fashion brands focus on producing sustainable goods. Yet, more production means more waste.
More than that, most environmental waste is produced in the post-purchase stage, namely the maintenance and disposal stages. Therefore, reducing the number of disposed textiles should be the new approach for the fashion industry.
What Is Collaborative Consumption?
Collaborative consumption in fashion happens when people choose to use a second-hand garment rather than buying a new one, or when they make their clothes available for second-hand use.
Moreover, the notion of collaborative consumption has created new opportunities in fashion such as sharing, gifting, swapping, lending, leasing, renting, and second-hand buying. A Concept that can help us to reduce the overconsumption experienced by the current fashion industry
(To see a more comprehensive discussion on this concept you can read ‘Collaborative fashion consumption and its environmental effects’).
The Market For Collaborative Consumption
Built on this notion, a growing number of startups have started to provide online marketplaces. One successful example is Mercari, a startup that has launched a smartphone app available in both, the App Store and Google Play which allows its users to buy and sell unwanted fashion items in a simple, quick and secure way.
The app has positioned Mercari as Japan’s first mobile collaborative marketplace with more than 60 million downloads in Japan and the US. More than that, Mercari is expanding its services to Europe and the UK.
Vinted, Thredup, Poshmark, Etsy, and Refashioner are just a few successful contributors to this new movement, showing that collaborative fashion markets are developing fast. In this regard, a growing number of experts insist that this is the way forward to create a sustainable fashion industry.