Re-sale as sustainable social innovation: understanding shifts in consumer decision-making and shopping orientations for high-end secondhand clothing

Jessica Lichy, Daniella Ryding, Edyta Rudawska, Gianpaolo Vignali

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Purpose – This study draws from sustainable social innovation theory and the Consumer Style Inventory (CSI) instrument to examine secondhand clothing consumption habits for Russia.
The secondhand market is the logical outcome of efforts to adopt resale as a facet of sustainable social innovation, with which to drive sustainable decision-making and socially responsible marketing in the secondhand high-end clothing market. Resale represents the cornerstone of business model innovation (BMi) for the retail sector, offering substantial opportunities for retailers who understand changes in consumption behaviour. More cost-effective and arguably greener, the sale of secondhand clothing is expected to be double the volume of fast fashion by 2030 but it remains an understudied field of research in the literature relating to the fashion industry.
Design/methodology/approach – Hypotheses are developed from the existing literature. Survey methodology is used to collect data from 250 Russian consumers in the city of Petersburg. The objective is to test the veracity of CSI shopper orientations, focusing on nascent motivations for high-end branded secondhand clothing, to examine sustainable social innovation and resale in an emerging market.
Findings – Four new shopping orientations are identified. Based on the empirical data, we suggest that five (out of the original eight CSI shopping orientations) are of internal statistical relevance, and that our new orientations are relevant for not only this market, but for neighbouring Eastern European countries too. The findings reflect postmodern evolution in behavioural motivations for Russian consumers, that can inform retail strategy in terms of BMi consumer for harnessing opportunities offered by sustainable social innovation and resale.
Originality – Whilst the CSI has been widely used, research for Eastern Europe is limited. Understanding the shopping orientations for sustainable alternatives to newly produced clothing has theoretical and practical implications for improving circularity, post-war entry strategies, and countries facing economic downturn. Our study contributes novel insights by examining consumer decision-making and shopping orientations in an emerging market.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Enterprise Journal
Early online date4 Jul 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jul 2023


  • Sustainable Social Innovation, Resale, Consumer Styles Inventory (CSI), high-end branded secondhand clothing, shopping orientations, Business Model Innovation (BMi), Russia


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