With the United States second hand apparel market expected to grow nine times faster than the regular clothing sector to hit $70 bn by 2027, a Guatemala-based company is set to expand from its traditional Central American base with the launch of a new reselling website in the US, effectively selling used clothing back to its original source.
The latest figures from US-based reselling giant ThredUp show that the global second hand market is expected to reach $350 bn by 2027 with 10 percent of the global apparel market made up of used goods by 2024. In the US alone, 75 percent of consumers have shopped or are open to shopping secondhand apparel, and one in three apparel items bought in the last 12 months was second hand.
Hoping to take advantage of this trend, Bloomberg reports that Megapaca, Central America’s largest importer and retailer of used clothing is to expand into the US.
Megapaca operates an import and sorting operation in Guatemala before then re-selling items through its 123 stores across its own domestic market as well as Honduras, El Salvador and southern Mexico, as well as online.
In 2022, the company imported 45 mn pounds of used clothing, shoes and other items from the US, before then selling on more than 70 mn items.
“My main goal is to open stores in the U.S., because that’s the only way to be the No. 1 used-clothing retailer in the world,” Mario Peña, Megapaca’s co-founder and general manager, told Bloomberg. “And I think we can do better than the U.S. because we can sort clothes cheaply here.”
The latest figures from ThredUp also show that online resale is the fastest-growing sector of the US secondhand market and is expected to reach $38 bn by 2027, growing twice as fast than second hand overall.
Driving this trend, says the 2023 Resale Report, is the ‘Gen Z’ demographic with 58% who bought secondhand apparel in the last 12 months making at least one purchase online.