Nearly 70 percent Poles buy clothes from thrift stores – according to the “Moda na second handy” study, conducted by the Less Group. More and more young people decide to make such purchases, and almost half of the respondents buy second-hand clothes one or more times a month. Poles most often associate thrift stores with “pearls”, and they increasingly choose second-hand clothes for ecological reasons.
It’s not just low prices that attract Poles to thrift stores. Buying from thrift stores has become fashionable and, for environmental reasons, even desirable. This is confirmed by the study of the Less group, which acquires second-hand objects from users, then redistributes them in off and online channels. What motivates people who choose second-hand fashion? What experiences accompany them during such purchases?
Poles in second-hand stores. Why do we buy recycled clothing?
63 percent of respondents say they choose thrift stores for the quality of the products offered there. More than half of the respondents (54%) indicate the ecological aspect as a reason for such purchases. One in four respondents appreciates a varied range of products. And although the above factors are becoming more and more important for Polish consumers, the price remains the most encouraging to buy second-hand (69% of indications).
– Buying second-hand can be a relief for both your wallet and the planet. Awareness among Polish consumers is growing, as are the reasons why we choose second-hand clothes. Lumpeks are no longer associated only with places where you can buy poor products by the kilogram, but for pennies. Some people are looking for unique things there, others for good quality.
What is most heartening, however, is that changing consumer habits are largely shaped by concern for the natural environment and our planet’s resources. The concept of circular economy is becoming increasingly popular. There is also a growing awareness that caring for everyday things prolongs their lifespan and reduces the need to produce new ones. – commented Wojciech Paczka, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Groclin (Less Group).
More than half of respondents indicated that unique “gems” were the first association with thrift stores. For 18 percent the first association is low prices. The podium ends with the desire to care about the environment and ecology, and to support the second broadcast (17%).
Secondary professions have become more democratic
Today, second-hand clothing stores are frequented by increasingly affluent people, residents of big cities and small towns, university graduates and elementary school students. Effect? 69 percent of all Poles surveyed are bought from second-hand shops.
Young people frequent these stores more often than older people. 83 percent of respondents under the age of 25 say they are willing to buy from thrift stores. In the older age groups, there are fewer second-hand enthusiasts, but this is still close to 2/3 of the respondents (more than 65%).
– The second practical fashion is spreading and popularizing. The results of our research show that residents of large cities and metropolises frequent only 20% of second-hand clothing stores. less often than residents of cities with a population of up to 50,000 people. There are also small differences in education. Among people who have followed a professional or secondary education, 3/4 buy in flea markets. But the “yes” vote among people with higher education reached 65%. people. Buying second-hand clothes is becoming a norm across society – comments Paweł Lewkowicz, Director of Growth, Less Group.
No wonder that nearly half of those surveyed (46%) shop at thrift stores one or more times a month. One in three respondents visits a second-hand clothing store once every few months.
Convince the unconvinced
Although second-hand fashion is a real alternative to popular chain stores today, not everyone is ready to buy recycled clothes. Among people who do not frequent flea markets, the prejudices known for years still prevail. 45 percent Poles surveyed associate this type of store with an unpleasant smell. Almost one in three people complain about the disorder there. 14 percent respondents combine low prices with poor quality products. On the other hand, the most common reasons why Poles avoid second-hand shops are, according to the study:
- problems of effectively finding appropriate clothing on site (64% of responses),
- the fact that they don’t like to carry things after someone (45% of respondents).
One respondent out of three does not have time to shop in thrift stores or find nothing there for themselves.
However, there are circumstances that would convince Poles to buy second-hand clothes. 40 percent of respondents indicated a more pleasant and clean interior. Almost as many people would be encouraged by a better adequacy of the offer (37%). 29 percent of respondents still dislike the assortment offered at flea markets. You would prefer less stuff but better quality. Subsequently, Poles would be encouraged to buy in thrift stores: lower prices (20%), professional customer service (17%) and proximity to the location of the store (12%).
The full report can be viewed at www.less-box.pl.
About the study
The Less Group quantitative study was conducted on a representative sample of 1,105 adults in Poland. Respondent responses were collected through an online survey from March 18-29, 2022.