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US, Japan, Sweden and UK dominate the second-hand market, according to Public Desire study

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Conducted by Public Desire, a global online footwear brand, a study focusing on thrift culture highlights the countries where second-hand shopping is the most popular.

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Based on metrics such as the number of thrift stores in each country, the resale market size as well as the annual growth of second-hand businesses, the study focused first and foremost on the United States with the best second-hand clothes culture in the world. 
 
“The U.S. ranks the highest not only with an impressive 3,110,000 online researches for thrift shops but also with the biggest resale market valued at $39 billion,” according to the study. “In detail, the U.S. counts 28,849 thrift stores, second on the list. Notably, 93% of the population is engaged in online second-hand shopping, making the U.S. a leader in this sector.”

Ranking second, the United Kingdom has a thriving thrift market worth $3.3 billion, supported by 4,082 thrift stores. With the highest annual growth rate of 27.2% and 70% of the population participating in second-hand purchases, the UK shows a significant increase in sustainable fashion practices. 
 
Sweden is another key player. It comes third, with a second-hand market valued at $8.18 billion, in the top three of the list.

“With 75% of the population having purchased second-hand items at least once, and with a steady annual growth of 2,04%, Sweden shows an excellent second-hand culture,” the study also stated.
 
“The rise of second-hand shopping is a testament to a global shift towards sustainable consumerism”, the study summed up. “As shown in this study, countries like the U.S., the UK, and Japan are leading the way with impressive numbers in both market size and public participation. This growing trend not only reflects a conscious effort to reduce waste and promote sustainability but also highlights the economic benefits of a thriving resale market.”

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In fourth place, the Netherlands boasts 4,326 thrift stores and a resale market valued at $622 million. With 73% of the population engaged in second-hand shopping and a healthy annual growth rate, the country demonstrated a growing thrift culture.
 
Japan ranks fifth, standing out with the highest number of thrift stores, totaling 483,000. That’s 10 times more than the UK and 15 times more than the U.S. The country’s resale market is valued at $18 billion, second in the list. “Although only 30% of the Japanese population participates in second-hand shopping, Japan’s extensive network of stores indicates a great culture of thrift,” stated the study. 
 
Ranked 6th, Germany has 11,600 thrift stores and a market worth $3.1 million.

“Despite a slight 1.1% decline in annual growth, 75% of the population remains active in second-hand shopping, highlighting a strong cultural commitment to sustainable fashion,” added the study. 
 
Next is Canada, with a second-hand market valued at $2.6 billion and 2,823 thrift stores. Denmark is in eighth place, with 84% of the population engaged in second-hand shopping. Austria ranks ninth with the highest percent of population engaged in thrift shopping at 85%, while in tenth place, Belgium’s commitment to sustainability is clear through its market size at $500 million supported by 2,263 thrift stores.
 

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