With Chinese consumers’ increased purchasing power, the country has become one of the world’s largest retail clothing markets. However, with it comes the dilemma of waste in the fashion industry. The popularity of “fast-fashion” is resulting in approximately 26 million tons of used clothes being thrown away in China every year. According to the China Association of Circular Economy, less than 1% of these are recycled.
China’s stigma around buying used items is dying down, especially among young consumers. An increased awareness of environmental issues has greatly promoted the recycling of used clothes. Xianyu, an online platform selling second-hand products, recycled 2.27 million used clothes in 2019, a total of 30,000 tons.
“We believe that in the next three to five years, Xianyu will become as popular as Taobao and reshape the lifestyles of China’s younger generation, similar to how Taobao has before.”Taobao President Jiang Fan