Closet Cleanout Season Reveals the Untapped Resale Potential in Consumers’ Closets

3 min readJan 20, 2022

While traditional retail tends to quiet down after the holidays, resale in 2022 is just heating up. Closet cleanout season is in full swing, and for brands running their own resale channels, this is an optimal time to engage with customers and unlock the value sitting in their closets.

Closet Cleanouts Are in Full Swing & Brands with Resale Can Capitalize

The start of the new year is a quintessential time for change, as we emerge from the winter doldrums, set goals for the new year, and look toward sunnier days ahead. But, this season, we’re seeing an even greater shift in shopping and shedding habits due to pandemic-fueled lifestyle changes and an increased focus on sustainability. As customers manage unwanted gifts, continue to relocate, change careers, and plan for the year ahead, January is a popular time for wardrobe organization. While brands are hyper conscious about seasonal moments for customers to stock closets, the rise in secondhand shopping is revealing a potent opportunity for brands to tap into the periods in which customers are decluttering.

According to the BoF Insights Lab’s The Future of Fashion Resale report, “sustainability, minimalism and convenience lead as motivators for sellers,” and “the potential upside of secondhand is considerable, especially as only ~5–7 percent of resaleable inventory is currently resold in a given year, resulting in ~$2.1 trillion in fashion inventory sitting untapped in closets.”

The early year closet-cleanout is a compelling opportunity for branded resale platforms to drive revenue by making it easy for customers to list items and participate in the circular economy.

Resale as a Powerful Tool for Customer Engagement

The benefits of resale are numerous. Not only does launching a resale channel add a whole new revenue stream for brands, it also opens the doors to deeper conversations with customers — around values, sustainability, and personal style — and creates new moments to connect. We encourage our brand partners to embrace these unique resale “hotspots,” like closet cleanout season, and get creative with their communications.

Closet cleanouts benefit everyone: customers, brands, and the planet! Customers can turn to their favorite brands to resell items easily, recouping some of their initial investment to make space for something new. Instead of items they are no longer using getting discarded or ending up on a landfill, they are passed on to a new home where they can enjoy a second, third or fourth life.

The end result of capitalizing on closet cleanouts is that brands can utilize their resale platform to re-engage inactive customers while reaching a new audience with their fully-stocked resale collection.

We tend to see that around 50% of resale shoppers are new to the brand — lower price points welcome in a wider, often younger, customer base. And keeping products in circulation for longer is hands down better for the planet. According to WRAP’s Valuing Our Clothes report, “Provided that the purchase of a second hand garment displaces that of a new item, then significant environmental savings are made from avoiding production, processing, and disposal.”

Brand Partner Spotlight: La Ligne

La Ligne launched in 2015 with the goal of empowering women of all ages with comfortable, effortless designs that never go out of style — a perfect fit for resale. We worked closely with the La Ligne team to make sure their new resale platform, Re-Ligne, stayed true to the look and feel of the brand, an aesthetic they carry throughout all their communications. We loved their recent “out with the old, in with the new” campaign, a New Year’s reminder to clean out your closet and have fun with it: “When parting with pieces that have served you well, consider Re-Ligne, our peer-to-peer resale marketplace that keeps your pre-loved La Ligne styles out of the landfill and in the closets of the women who love them.”

La Ligne’s resale platform, Re-Ligne, is powered by Recurate.

We’re proud to help La Ligne and our other 20+ partners launch resale platforms that are true to their brand. If you’re considering resale as a next step, visit to learn more!