A shift is happening in the fashion industry, making the wardrobes of Aussies more stylish and sustainable. Retro, vintage, pre-loved, whatever you call it, the market for second-hand fashion keeps on growing, with more and more Australians buying and selling fashion items on eBay. Every day, hundreds of cherished items are finding their way to new homes, thanks to Sendle's partnership with eBay, which keeps shipping costs down and supports the sustainability efforts of those who are turning their backs on fast fashion.

This substantial shift towards timeless pre-loved fashion items is shown in a recent report based on research conducted in 2023 and 2024 by YouGov (approx 1040 respondents) and Kanter (3000+ respondents) which was commissioned by eBay.

The research reveals fascinating insights into the nation's shopping habits.

  • 40% try to buy only pre-loved clothes
  • 70% own at least one pre-loved fashion item
  • Almost 90% plan to continue to buy the same or more pre-loved fashion items

woman holding camera phone pointing at box with clothes inside nation shopping habits data insight from eBay 2023 and 2024 research by YouGov and Kanter

Source: eBay 2023 and 2024 research by YouGov and Kanter.

“True taste never goes out of style and with a pre-loved women’s dress sold every two minutes on eBay, it’s great to see Aussies increasingly experience the joy of wearing pre-loved fashion and opting for more mindful consumption. It’s clear the nation is both finding and embracing its own unique style and eBay is at the heart of it, with luxury designers such as Aje, Scanlan Theodore and Zimmermann searched every two minutes on eBay Australia."

~ Anne-Marie Cheney, Fashion Lead eBay Australia


But why are Australians repurposing pre-loved fashion items?

Sustainability is the main reason for Australia's inclination to previously-owned fashion pieces. For almost one-third of Aussies (31%), this helps them avoid the cycle that is detrimental to the environment, while more than half (53%) feel the quality of pre-loved items surpass that of brand-new clothing.

Sendle’s own research indicates that Australian small businesses place a high value on sustainability. 32% of respondents to our recent survey said sustainability is a high priority while a massive 82% said they are looking to implement sustainable packaging (e.g. recycled materials, plastic alternatives etc) in the next six months.


The capsule wardrobe revolution

Another concept that's quickly gaining traction is the capsule wardrobe, a carefully selected set of garments that all work well together – giving the wearer lots of different options without having to buy a lot of clothes. Creating a capsule wardrobe involves curating timeless, versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched into endless new looks. This minimalist and practical approach to fashion, which is unlikely to ever go out of style, is being embraced by one in four (26%) of those surveyed by eBay’s research team.


Reviving retro trends

Nostalgic trends are making a comeback. Aussies are making sustainable choices and rediscovering the charm of retro and vintage by expressing their individual style in everything from animal prints to timeless tweeds.


Pre-Loved Fashion Covet List

To celebrate the increasing popularity of pre-loved fashion and inspire Australians to shop pre-loved, eBay recently unveiled the 'Pre-Loved Fashion Covet List,' a style guide that predicts the biggest fashion trends for 2024. Top stylists and fashion enthusiasts shared their expertise by curating top tips and advice on how to rock pre-loved style.

The Covet List highlights these four key trends:

  • Elliot Garnaut’s ‘Elevated Outdoor’ which blends utility and performance wear. This features practical yet stylish pieces.
  • Maggie Zhou’s ‘Patterns Galore’ explores bold and clashing patterns, perfect for making a statement!
  • Jessica Pecoraro’s ‘Classic Dressing’ which highlights high-quality staples that have a timeless appeal.
  • Jessica Alizzi’s ‘Cuffed Denim’ showcases vintage cuts that feature a modern twist. A timeless classic that fits all personal styles.


Selling and shipping pre-loved fashion items

Designer items are just as valuable even if they are no longer brand new. What the research found is that Australians love finding unique pieces that express their style and this has brought more sellers onto the marketplace. According to eBay research, average annual returns for pre-loved fashion sellers are increasing too, having “soared by 25% between 2022 and 2023”.

woman preparing to ship pre-loved fashion item smiling at the camera

To support growth for such sellers, it’s crucial to have a reliable shipping partner like Sendle. Shipping with Sendle on eBay is such a breeze. It’s sustainable, affordable, simple, and convenient: free pickups, convenient drop-off locations, and printer-free.


Ship sustainably with Sendle

You might also like to read

Sustainability | 4 min read
June 12, 2024

Choosing the right Sendle service in the U.S.: Saver, Preferred, 3-Day, and 2-Day Shipping

Prefer to zip through the fast lane? Or would you rather slow down by a few mph’s and turn on cruise control? No matter which speed you like to send at, you’ve got plenty of ...
Read more
Sustainability | 4 min read
May 29, 2024

Sustainable packaging: satchels that help save the earth

There's more to shipping than just moving parcels from point A to B. It also requires making strategic choices that can have significant impact on both your bottom line and ...
Read more

Get small biz tips in your inbox. Join us!

Never spammy, always pleasant.