Will COVID19 change the way we shop forever?

April 29th 2020

Words by Emily Batters

The pandemic has create a life online, with many of us carrying on daily activities but on the internet. This way of live has had a massive impact on resale and re-commerce sites who have reported a massive increase in sales. This was a market that was already expected to grow but the lockdown is making this way of shopping more and more appealing. People are buying more items on these sites as we head into a time of economic uncertainty and so finding ways to shop fashionably cheaper is become a priority. Not only this but the amount of people actively using these sites as sellers due to having time to free up wardrobe space and make money on it. This is a massive step in the right direction to the circular fashion and sustainability trends that we have already seen big nods to in the past. Resale platforms such as Depop and Posh-mark are reporting an increase in sales during the crisis. Could it be that the global pandemic will change the way we shop forever? 

In the past fashion houses such as Chanel have spoke out against resale platforms as they have a negative impact on brand image. However a recent study from Vestiaire Collective(an online resale platform for vintage luxury/designer goods) have said that re-commerce is in fact beneficial to big luxury brands are it recruits customers and gets them to identify with the brand even if they have a lower income and wouldn't necessarily be able to afford normal tag prices. 

A lot of brands are jumping on the sustainability trend as this is the way that customers are predicted to go in terms of shopping habits and we are seeing the change happening already. Burberry in 2019 teamed up with The Real Real to promote the longevity of Burberry items and to contribute to the circular economy. 


With the future left uncertain by the coronavirus, what are businesses doing to prepare? Abercrombie and Fitch being the most recent to jump on the trend amidst the pandemic, announcing  in April 2020 that they will be the next to join the resale market. They are joining with the help of ThredUp. A service model that  allows shoppers to send their used or no longer desirable clothing and accessories to the online consignment shop in exchange for Abercrombie or Hollister gift cards.“This partnership with ThredUp supports our long-term journey to embed sustainability throughout our organization,”.  “Sustainability is integral to our success, and it’s increasingly important to our customers. This collaboration not only helps reduce textile waste, but it also offers our customers a convenient way to do good, something we know they are eager to do.” A statement from the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch.