Dec 15, 2021 - Economy

The post-pandemic closet purge

Which of the following best describes your current closet situation?
Data: CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

40% of Americans want to purge their closets or have done so already, according to a recent CivicScience survey.

The big picture: Clothing retailers and resale websites and apps stand to profit off of this sweeping trend.

What's happening: In the last two years, many have stocked up on comfy clothes or athleisure as they've spent more time at home. Now, they're plotting post-pandemic closet revamps.

  • Many Americans have also lost or gained weight during the pandemic, and they're in the market for new clothes that fit.
  • As a result, apparel and footwear are two of the strongest retail categories this holiday season.

This rise in closet overhauling also comes as Gen Z and millennial consumers drive a renaissance of thrift stores and secondhand shopping. So there's a big — and growing — market for the purged clothes.

Worth noting: If you're planning to donate your old clothes instead of selling them, do your research to make sure they don't just end up in a landfill and contribute to fast fashion's carbon footprint.

  • Mashable suggests donating to Goodwill or the Salvation Army because these big organizations can handle volume, and they’re less likely to get overwhelmed and throw clothes out.
Go deeper