Cost of Living

Second-hand surge: why buying used is trendy among young Canadians

Buy it again, for the first time! Why some of the biggest brands we buy, from IKEA to Levi's, are now looking to cash in on the second-hand market.
The second-hand economy is seeing a bump in 2020 thanks to younger generations choosing sustainable and renewable products over so-called fast fashion. (Michael Gorman/CBC)

Sustainability isn't just a buzzword. It's actually changing how young people consume stuff, and some of the big brands have taken notice.

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IKEA, the very symbol of fast furniture, launched its "Sell-Back" program to facilitate resales in 2019.

Now, Levi Strauss & Co. is launching an online platform to sell second-hand jeans. Whether the motivation is to save the earth, rehabilitate the company's image, or actually make money — big retailers have a lot to gain by moving into the consignment space.

Producer Tara McCarthy dives into the racks of the second-hand economy in Canada.

Click 'Listen' at the top of the page to hear this segment, or download the Cost of Living podcast.