eBay partners with circular fashion expert ACS to boost second hand fashion market

eBay is teaming up clothing resale, sanitisation and repair experts ACS to expand the online marketplace’s second hand offering and help reduce waste in the fashion industry.

The move follows new research from eBay that reveals a growing ‘resale economy’ in the UK, as more cost-conscious and environmentally minded consumers choose to buy and sell second hand over new. Almost nine in 10 (87%) UK adults surveyed said they have bought an item second hand in the past twelve months, while more than six in 10 (63%) say they have sold a second hand item. So far this trend is translating into sales, with eBay reporting one second hand fashion sale every second so far in 2022.

The partnership will help more brands and retailers to create and quickly scale resale offerings, while giving eBay UK’s 20 million plus customers more choice in second hand goods. The first retail partner to launch on ACS’ eBay Shop is Monsoon, with other high street names set to follow.

ACS cleans, sanitises and repairs second hand items, making them resale ready, as well as arranging the logistics of item listing and delivery. The eBay platform will connect its millions of shoppers worldwide with this stock.

The partnership aims to capitalise on the increasing shift to second hand, which is being driven by the rising cost of living and greater concern for our impact on the environment. eBay UK conducted a survey of UK adults asking about their experiences and motivations of buying second hand. Their top reasons were: to “get a better deal or to find a bargain” (32%), to “cut back on spending”, and “the rise of the cost of living” (both 31%), followed by a drive to be “more sustainable” (26%).

As the ‘resale economy’ becomes more mainstream and the scale and range of items on offer grows, consumers are increasingly likely to consider second hand over new. One in four (25%) UK adults surveyed said that a larger range of second hand items now being available to buy was a key reason for them making a second hand purchase.

However, the research found barriers exist when it comes to second hand items becoming mainstream. Concerns about hygiene (51%), safety of second hand products (35%), quality issues (28%) and fake or inauthentic goods (27%) are the main reasons for avoiding preloved goods.

The new partnership aims to tackle some of these misconceptions in the second hand market,  with strict quality controls, the latest technology in sanitisation and high standards of repair helping to improve trust among shoppers and nudge more shoppers to choose preloved.

Commenting on the research Murray Lambell, UK Vice President of eBay, says: “Our economy and our environment are in need of urgent repair. If we want our businesses to be here in 20 or 100 years’ time, we need to move away from our fixation on overconsumption and instead mark ourselves on circularity. There is huge commercial value in backing the resale economy and the retailers that are first to make the change and invest, will benefit the most in the long run.”

Commenting on the partnership Lucy Peacock, Head of Preloved at eBay UK, adds: “Across the fashion industry we know there is a greater need to build a sustainable future. Since 1995, eBay has extended the life cycle of products, whether through consumer to consumer reselling or our Imperfects hub, so it’s fantastic to partner with ACS, who are at the forefront of enabling the circular fashion economy.

“Pairing eBay’s reach among conscious customers, with ACS’ expertise in garment repair, resale and recycling will help reduce waste in the fashion industry and showcase a kinder way to shop that benefits both people’s wallets and the planet.”

Andrew Rough, Chief Executive Officer, ACS Clothing says: “The surge in second-hand clothing sales is undoubtedly a reaction to the growing consumer conscience of sustainability in fashion as well as the increasing cost of living and the pressure this places on spending. eBay is famous for its vast offering of preloved clothing, and this scalable resale partnership with ACS will enable them to develop this further.

“As the biggest back-end logistics provider of resale garments in the UK., the ACS resale offering extends clothing life to minimise waste and keep current garments in circulation for longer. We take care of textile repairs, eco-friendly cleaning, quality control and more to get those preloved items back on the shelf.

“This partnership with eBay is not only important news for the development of circular fashion, we process over six million items at our 200,000 sq ft fashion hub each year, but it is a stepping stone for ACS as this will enable us to open our first brand approved shop front.

“We want to redesign the future of fashion by providing a solution to the industry’s sustainability crisis. We seek to transform the fashion industry from the outdated take-make-dispose model toward a circular fashion solution that extends the life of existing textiles and diverts clothing from landfills. With eBay, we know this is possible.”

This is the latest move by eBay to prevent fashion items from being sent to landfill, building on the launch of eBay’s ‘Imperfects’ Hub  earlier this year –  giving shoppers the opportunity to get clothes, shoes and accessories which are considered new with defects but can’t be sold at full price – and Brand Outlet, eBay’s dedicated destination to shop end of season stock at up to 70% off. 

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