Secondhand and its future

Published: 15.02.2024

Where does second-hand come from?

When was the term “second-hand” first used? The term originated in the 15th century and stands for the phrase “from one hand to another”. It became established among the masses through the purchase of second-hand goods at Belgian and French flea markets in the late 19th century. This trend of buying inexpensive second-hand items encouraged the development of vintage fashion.


In a world where mass consumption and mass production have become the norm, marko wants to create a counter-movement with online second-hand sales. The sale of second-hand goods has its appeal and we can see that this trend is growing worldwide. Second-hand is becoming an important player for our sustainable future.
The second-hand sector is booming:
“The theses are based on an international consumer survey. More than half (56%) of German customers stated that they had already bought second-hand clothing. In Gen Z (i.e. those born between 1995 and 2010), the figure was 64%.
In the case of luxury brands, 44% have already purchased second-hand items; in Gen Z, the figure was eleven percentage points higher (55%).” (PWC, 2023) This passage was translated from the original German to English by marko for this blog article.
This rapid development will continue to accelerate over the next few years.

1. The green impact

One of the most compelling aspects of the second-hand market is its environmental impact. Every resold item of clothing, electronic device or home gadget is a small victory against the environmental impact of fast fashion and today’s consumer society. The fashion industry produces 92 million tons of waste annually, (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2023). Secondhand extends the life cycle of products, which means that fewer products need to be newly produced.
AI generated pile of clothes (Source: Pixaby)
Research has also shown that the environmental impact of reusing textiles is 70 times lower, even when global exports for reuse, including transportation emissions, are taken into account (MRW, 2023).
Our consumer behavior and the fast fashion model must definitely be questioned today. Second-hand items embody the essence of this change and are a cornerstone for a more sustainable economic model.

2. Thrift tech

Our digital age has opened up many new possibilities that can make second-hand easier and more attractive. With marko, we want to make it easier to shop for shoes, cameras, chairs, carpets and much more. Advertising has also been made easy: grab your cell phone, take five good photos, upload them to, enter the most important details and you’re done. Individualized filtering and categorization of products, secure payment and marko Easy Shipping make second-hand shopping easier than ever.

3. Niche second-hand markets

It’s not just clothes that are getting a second life. The second-hand market is expanding into unexpected areas. From refurbished electronics to used furniture and second-hand wedding dresses, consumers are embracing the idea that almost anything can find a new home, reducing waste in a wide variety of areas. This is another reason why marko has deliberately chosen to focus on the fashion, electronics and home sectors.
Header image of the website

4. The future of fashion

As fashion evolves, so does perception and what is fashionable. Influencers are increasingly championing the second-hand movement, making it not only eco-friendly but also celebrating a unique style. Second-hand promises to be more recognizable and gives everyone plenty of scope to develop their own style.
See our personal marko inspiration profiles here: