Gumtree's 2018 Second Hand Economy Report has revealed that 89% of Australian consumers have unwanted items in their home.
According to the report, 1.3 million Australians have joined the $34 billion second hand sub-industry for the first time in the last 12 months.
56% of Australian consumers are now selling second hand goods with 88% selling online.
Gumtree spokesperson Kirsty Dunn said that there are an average of 350,000 clothing and jewellery listings on the site.
“When it comes to fashion, in the past year women who sold second hand items have made $982 on average from Australia's second hand economy, with one in three preferring to buy pre-loved clothing, shoes and accessories over new.”
The number of consumers selling second hand clothing has nearly doubled since 2011, up from 12% to 22%.
Millennials are cashing in the most with 61% selling something in the last year.
“Interestingly, the Gumtree report also revealed that almost three quarters of Aussie women (72%) are holding onto unwanted clothing, shoes and accessories, while over a half (53%) managed to make a buck from their former wardrobe must haves,” Dunn said.
Zero-waste boutique EKOLUV has tapped into the second hand economy offering consumers pre-loved items and pieces for hire, as well as products from sustainable brands.
The boutique's founder Emily Kate Symes said her business has seen great success with its hiring function.
“The majority of our customers use our hire function more than our selling function.
“This is due to the affordable price it is to rent an item that may be worth thousands for only a fraction of the retail value rather than purchasing and it may only be worn once to an event for example and then waste away just sitting in your wardrobe.
“Hiring makes up about 60% of our business, then selling pre-loved/consignment or sustainable brands makes up the other 40% of our sales.”
The top three benefits of the second hand economy cited by consumers were cheaper prices and greater savings (72%), reducing waste by recycling useful items (66%) and the ability to cash in and make money (53%).
“Customers love saving money and finding a bargain where they can buy pre-loved designer goods in excellent condition for only a fraction of the retail value,” Symes said.
“Buying second hand is definitely the new black and the way of the future, there is so much excess waste and nowadays people are becoming more aware of their consumer footprint.”
Dunn said that the topic of sustainability is a driving force behind the growing second hand economy as consumers become more aware of the impacts of fast fashion.
“As the topic of sustainable fashion continues to grow and consumers become increasingly conscious of the consequences of fast fashion, the second hand economy is an ideal solution for finding unique and treasured pieces at a fraction of the price, or a new owner for those previously loved wares.”