US parents projected to spend $12.8bn on pre-loved children’s clothing by 2030

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

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Parents in the US are projected to spend US$12.8 billion on pre-loved children’s clothing and baby items by 2030, a report from Mercari reveals. 

The children’s resale market in the US is growing each year, not just because of uncertain economic conditions and rising inflation, but also for sustainability. 

The Japanese e-commerce company – which has a location in the US – and research company GlobalData have released their Reuse Report: Family Edition, which focuses on the resale market ecosystem for pre-loved children’s clothing through the “lens of American families and parents”.

“Our study reveals that the resale market for kids’ and baby products is expanding rapidly – especially digitally – with economic challenges being a driving factor of this trend,” said John Lagerling, Mercari US CEO

“Consumers are mindful of their budgets and want to reduce waste, which are primary growth drivers in the second-hand market, and we expect this growth to accelerate through 2030.”

During the past year, the survey found, two-thirds of parents said they purchased second-hand kids’ and baby products. At the same time, those who are just starting their families have high numbers, with eight out of 10 who buy pre-loved items.

More than half (59 per cent) of the second-hand shoppers said their number one reason for purchasing second-hand is to save money, while a third (27 per cent) said they chose pre-loved items due to rising inflation.

Beyond value, the remaining one-third said they opt to purchase pre-loved children’s clothing items for sustainability. 

The kids and baby industry is responsible for the massive consumption of energy, water, and natural resources, just like every other fashion and lifestyle industry sector. It produces pollution, hazardous waste, microplastics, textile waste, and greenhouse gases. 

Parents can help reduce emissions, save resources, and prevent clothing from ending up in landfills by choosing pre-loved or second-hand items.

“In the US, there are 33 million households with kids under 18,” added Lagerling. “Given the number of things parents need to buy, and the fact that children grow out of apparel and toys quickly, it’s not surprising that buying and selling pre-loved items is becoming a practical option.”

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.