As with house clearances, so with charity shops:
Move over fast fashion – second-hand clothing is cool again. And entrepreneurs from Generation Z are making a mint, reselling designer items bought on the cheap at huge mark-ups on new online marketplaces, today’s digital car boot sales.
Many of these young sellers are buying old clothes by the kilo and trawling through charity shops in well-heeled areas with an eagle eye to what will sell. They have clocked that it’s young buyers being drawn to environmentally friendly credentials and a “vintage” aesthetic that has catapulted it into the mainstream.
That the waste stream of society contains things that can be reused should not be all that much of a surprise. That a detailed sorting of that stream can uncover those things and a profit be made, well, that’s obvious from the first point.
The thing is, once the pickers at one end of the process have worked it out then pickers closer to the source get switched on to that knowledge.
Charity shops already sort clothes for what can be resold, what should be sent to Africa. Imperfectly perhaps, but given this money making they’ll get better at it.
As with house clearances. As with an old acquaintance (for Bathonians, Robbie at bottom of Walcot St) who did house clearances. Over the years he got a good eye for what was value, what was junk. A fine collection of first editions was a part of his pensions savings.
The capturing of that value started with people scouring the second hand bookshops he’d deliver to in bulk. Once he cottoned on then that picking moved a stage up the process.
The same’ll happen to clothing here.