Amid the ongoing cost of living crisis, many of us have been looking for creative ways to earn extra income: and as it turns out, more than half of us are currently sitting on unused clothing that could be turned into cash.
New insight from Trade Me's annual Circular Economy report, which is due to be released in its entirety next week, has revealed that many New Zealanders are sitting on treasure troves of sellable fashion. The average Kiwi currently has seven unused items relegated to the back of their wardrobe, totalling 11 million items across the country - with the total value of our unused fashion equating to a whopping $300 million.
According to the report, 51 percent of Kiwis have unused clothing, shoes or accessories at home that could be sold to grow Aotearoa's circular fashion economy - an economic system based on the reuse and regeneration of materials or products - benefiting the planet and consumers' back pockets.
To encourage the country's fashionistas to get behind this circular economy, Trade Me is offering free selling this week (February 20-26) in its Clothing & Fashion category, allowing customers to list their unused items for free and with no success fees on sales. With the expected increase in listings, fashion fans will have the opportunity to shop others' closets for their favourite pre-loved brands, saving them money and in the long run, the planet.
To celebrate the power of pre-loved fashion, Trade Me is also presenting Aotearoa's first fashion show featuring pre-owned, biddable clothing. Titled Everyday Runway, the show has been curated by fashion stylist and director Sammy Salsa to showcase the kind of looks one can create with second-hand styles, from urban streetwear to high fashion.
Over 100 pieces will grace the runway, hand-selected from Trade Me listings by Salsa.
"Secondhand fashion should be a staple of every good wardrobe. Hunting out pre-loved looks gives you access to labels and items at significantly reduced prices, meaning fashion lovers can get their hands on brands they might not otherwise be able to add to their wardrobe," Salsa said in a statement.
"Trade Me is home to thousands of incredible pieces. The variety and quality of the fashion featured in the Everyday Runway show is a testament to the incredible looks you can source – and list – on the platform. If more Kiwi get on board with listing the items they have sitting unused in their wardrobe, the more Aotearoa will be able to embrace pre-loved fashion."
Looks from the pre-loved collection will be showcased by local models, with actor Vinnie Bennett leading the runway. Broadcaster and TV personality Sharyn Casey is also supporting the cause, taking to Trade Me to list seven unused items she found in her own closet.
"I genuinely had no idea how many items I had in my wardrobe that I didn't use. With a few simple tips and tricks for optimising my listing from Sammy, I was able to list my seven items and use the profits to purchase second-hand items myself. Although they're pre-loved, to me, they feel completely new," Casey said in a statement.
The report has also revealed new insights into New Zealanders' hand-me-down habits. More than 70 percent of Kiwis with pre-loved pieces plan on selling some of their clothing - 9 percent are planning on selling all of their items. Younger Kiwis are more likely to list their clothing, with 84 percent of millennials with unused clothing planning to sell it.
The survey also revealed Kiwis are proud to shop pre-loved: 84 percent of respondents said they're pleased with their second-hand items, compared with just 7 percent who said they feel embarrassed about not buying new.
"Kiwis are unknowingly sitting on hundreds of dollars of potential profit in their wardrobe. By simply looking in our wardrobes at what we don't currently use and listing it online, we could all sell and buy ourselves a whole new look," said Trade Me's Brand, Marketing and Communications Director, Sally Feinson.
"Amid the rising cost of living and increased financial stress, going second-hand is going to become more accessible and realistic. It's time we embrace pre-owned as a major source of clothing and fashion."
Everyday Runway garments will be available to bid on, with all proceeds going to RainbowYOUTH, a charity providing resources and advocacy for Aotearoa's queer, gender diverse, takatāpui and intersex youth.