Why The Pre-Owned Market in Asia Is Only Getting Bigger

by HULA , March 15, 2019

A week before the launch of our new warehouse space – the first ever pre-owned designer warehouse in Hong Kong – we ask ourselves why it has taken so long for most parts of Asia to buy into wearing pre-owned. The luxury resale market is worth more than €20bn globally and represents close to 10% of luxury consumption worldwide, according to a report by Berenberg Bank. In China, the resale business is still in its infancy, at 3%. Cultural expectation and superstition in Asia is a huge barrier to consumers accepting secondhand clothes, for some believe that bad luck might be passed on from old clothing. We say — how about the good luck that’s passed on? The tide is changing as the second hand market in Asia continues to grow. Here is why secondhand fashion is getting more popular:


Invest in quality

The audience is becoming increasingly savvy with quality of their clothing and luxury trends as the middle class in China continues to grow. While they can’t necessarily afford the luxury price points of new garments, they can certainly appreciate their quality – second hand designer clothing retailers, especially those that have high quality control standard on their clothes’ state of wear, offer the materials and design offered by luxury fashion houses without the steep price points.

Luxury quality, high street price points

With the increase in preference for quality doesn’t necessarily come with an increase in budget, especially for younger customers. Secondhand designer clothing offers the perfect solution, and at Hula, pieces could be up to 90% off original retail prices, satisfying customers with an appetite for luxury fashion without breaking the bank. Even for regular luxury customers, the second hand market offers the option to try new styles that they don’t want to invest a lot in yet.


Hunting down past season pieces

Nowadays, creative directors demand as much following as the brands they lead. When creative directors leave a fashion house they design for or change alliances, their devotees scramble to pick up the last designs they did for the label they departed from. A perfect example would be Phoebe Philo leaving Celine – devotees to Philo swept up the designer’s last season goods from first and second-hand retailers alike. This applies to the death of a legendary designer too, such as Alexander Mcqueen, Azzedine Alaïa and Karl Lagerfeld. Second-hand retailers offer a space to pick up and keep a piece of fashion history alive.


A change of mindset among millennials, who are fast abandoning the prejudices of the generations before them

The younger generation didn’t grow up with the same reservations that the older generation has towards clothes previously worn by others. Instead, they care more about quality, design, brand name, cost savings and the environment, with second hand fashion satisfying all the forementioned preference criteria.

Stella McCartney

Kinder to the environment

Disposable fashion has come under fire, not only for the amount that ends up in landfill, but also because it can release toxic chemicals in production and plastic fibres when it is washed. The Environmental Audit Committee in the UK investigated the social and environmental impact of disposable ‘fast fashion’ and the wider clothing industry, In its final report, the committee called for “a new economic model for fashion”, while highlighting that, currently, less than 1 percent of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing, despite around 300,000 tonnes of textile waste being thrown away each year. Every time a fashion lover chooses to purchase a second hand clothing item over a new item, a piece of clothing is diverted from the landfills. Choosing to support second hand fashion when you need a new garment is a way to consciously be kind to our planet!


Trust is growing

Trust is a big issue in the resale market as the fear of counterfeit products is real. But technology is catching up fast — with authentication tools using blockchain and AI technology. At HULA, we use Entrupy, an AI authentication solutions provider to guarantee that the designer bags we sell on our platform are real. With technology developing swiftly, the trust between buyer and seller on the resale market is only going to grow in the future to come.

What is the biggest motivation for you to buy second-hand fashion? Leave us a comment on our Instagram!