If you’re an active Instagram user, there’s a very high chance you would have seen some users announcing their next ‘drop’ on their page, and many staking their claim on those items in the comment section. This is the new-age thrifting trend in India. The past year has seen a flurry of thrift stores on Instagram – youngsters selling pre-used clothes and accessories. And the number of followers and engagement on these pages also show that there are more than enough takers.
For Priya Choudhary, her Instagram thrift store ‘Finding Keepers by PZ’ is something she started as a way of decluttering her cupboard during the pandemic, without discarding clothes. Priya says that unlike before, people are now very open to purchasing pre-owned clothes. It’s also a section of young people who are increasingly becoming conscious of their environmental impact, thus driving even greater adoption of sustainable fashion in the form of thrifting.
While there is no formal data on the market in India, a 2021 Resale Report by Threadup, an online consignment and thrift store, shows that globally 223 million consumers said they’re open to shopping secondhand products in 2020, and resale is projected to grow by 5.4X over the next five years, accelerating post-COVID.
Not surprisingly, US-based social commerce marketplace Poshmark, a platform for consumers to buy and sell new and secondhand clothes and accessories, forayed into India last month, its third market outside of North America after Canada and Australia as it looks to grow its community of sellers and buyers through international expansion. This is one of the first formal companies to launch such a marketplace in India, giving the burgeoning thrifting market in India a further boost.
"India is a new and important market for us as we focus on the continued growth of our social marketplace. We’re working to build a loyal, diverse community of Indian buyers and sellers and have received a strong response so far. It’s early, but we’re excited about being one of the first entrants in this segment,” Manish Chandra, CEO of Poshmark, told CNBC-TV18.
Poshmark’s India foray also came on the back of the rapidly growing base of sustainability and value conscious consumers, and social commerce that has emerged as a massive phenomenon in the country. However, Chandra says India lacked an organised marketplace where Indians can buy and sell new, pre-loved and sustainable fashion directly from each other.
The opportunity, too, is massive. According to a Bain & Company report, social commerce in India will be worth as much as $20 billion by 2025, with potential to reach $70 billion by 2030, equaling twice the size of the e-commerce market within 10 years.
Chandra says that the early response in India has been encouraging seeing interest from both buyers and sellers across categories. With the launch coming amid India’s festive season, Poshmark expects to see a surge in demand for traditional Indian wear like Sarees, Kurtas and more.
Poshmark claims that selling on its platform is a simple process that only involves clicking a picture of the item to be sold, fill in a description and set the price. It also has virtual buying and selling events on its app called Posh Parties where users can browse, buy, and list items.
While the company hasn’t disclosed current userbase in India, globally Poshmark has over 80 million users, giving Indian users access to this network of shoppable closets.
However, the market currently is still dominated by stores on Instagram, but Poshmark is hoping that its value-addition will help bring more consumers on its platform.
“We offer end-to-end solutions that are designed to connect buyers with sellers, promote listings, enable easy shipping, and grow sales. This sets us apart and makes Poshmark truly unique from other ecommerce retailers,” Chandra adds.
Poshmark's third quarter results set to be announced on November 9 could throw more light on the response the company has seen with the India foray.
First Published: IST