The market for secondhand clothing is booming, growing at such a speed that it's set to become a major player in the fashion industry as a whole — if it's not already. Vinted is the latest example of resale platforms cashing in on the growing demand; it just closed an all-equity round of $303 million that now values the company at $4.2 billion (or $4.5 billion after outside financing and capital injections are added to the balance sheet).

The new valuation is a remarkable step up from its 2019 valuation, which placed the Lithuania-based marketplace at $1 billion, according to TechCrunch. For anyone keeping count — that means it has grown by $3.2 billion in the last two years alone. Further still: In 2019, Vinted had 25m registered users across 11 markets, with 300 employees. Now the company is active in 12 European markets as well as the US and currently has some 45 million users.

Unprecedented growth during the pandemic and Series F (funding) round, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, as well as Sprints Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Accel, and Burda Principal Investments, has helped the second-hand marketplace become one of the biggest startups to come out of the small Eastern European nation.

Lithuania's secondhand fashion unicorn was founded in 2008, but founders Milda Mitkute and Justas Janauskas didn't start seeing success until they decided to make the costs as low as possible for users to list clothes. “That produced a dramatic change in our growth trajectory,” Thomas Plantenga, CEO of Vinted revealed to TechCrunch,

The phenomenal success of Vinted reflects a growing desire by consumers who want to participate in the so-called “circular” economy and who want to extend the life of their clothes.  According to a report from GlobalData (via ThreadUp), the secondhand market is expected to double to $64 billion in the next five years, with resale overtaking traditional thrifting and donation.

In its lifetime, Grailed has featured over 20,000,000 listings, while Depop counts 3,000 top sellers globally who account for 10 percent of all items sold on the app. Vestiaire Collective, with over 11 million members, adds 550,000 new listings per month. These resell markets contain both opportunities and pitfalls for the future of fashion.

We spoke to a group of super resellers about their business, success, and whether resale can drive positive change or even change retail altogether as part of our Better Earth Manual. Read what they had to say here.

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