Today’s world eagerly follows modern, ever-changing fashion trends. When trends come as fast as they go, the environmental burden they place on our world only gets heavier. With every new trend comes tons of inventory changes and harmful manufacturing procedures that go along with it. Some consumers look to alternative options, leading to the popularization of sustainable fashion trends. A heathy median between eco-friendly, trendy, and unique fashion lies within the retail marketplace app, Depop: a platform that connects community buying and selling of second hand items to make fashion more diverse, accessible, and sustainable.
With the fashion industry creating and popularizing new trends almost weekly, businesses have mastered the ability to keep up through means of repeated, rapid production with low quality materials to ensure that customers are never bored of a store’s inventory. This has led to detrimental impacts on our environment, but nevertheless trendy clothing is difficult to turn down when it’s cheap and within hands’ reach. On the Depop app, shoppers can essentially have the best of both worlds; with the vast selection of items on the app, the most recent and popular trends are always included. People can freely switch out their closet and experiment with different styles without burdening our environment.
Depop allows anyone to list their own clothing for the rest of the community to browse and purchase. On the platform, users can become both a buyer and seller of unique, thifted, and vintage pieces. Depop takes 10% of the sale amount and sellers are responsible for their own packaging and shipping. Buyers can easily navigate through thousands of listings by searching for keywords and filtering by brand, size, and any other features that appear on a typical online shopping site. By shopping from each other’s closets, users can get an experience comparable to retail shopping, but without encouraging new production of clothing.
Depop is not alone in the sustainable fashion online marketplace: there are many other competing platforms including Poshmark, Mercari, and ThredUp that share a similar business model. Poshmark is currently regarded as the industry leader in the resale market, with 50+ million users and over $2 billion in revenue paid out to its sellers. In comparison, Depop has 18 million users and a total revenue of $50 million. Despite its comparatively smaller scale, Depop has experienced revenue growth of 100% in the past few consecutive years and closed a Series C investment round of $62 million in 2019. This funding is partially being used to expand Depop in the U.S., which is quickly becoming Depop’s largest market following the U.K. where the startup was originally founded. Overall, the fashion resale market is expected to double in value from $24 million to $51 million within the next five years, and the steady revenue growth across all these platforms supports this prediction.
Although these competitors function in a similar way in that they allow users to purchase second hand clothing online, none of them are able to capture Depop’s aesthetic and offer the same unique pieces. The user experience and interface of Depop is better suited to promote unique and on-trend items, such as vintage pieces and handmade styles, giving the app a more boutique feel. The visual aesthetic of Depop encourages users to develop a sense of style and turns shopping into an experience beyond just spending money.
Due to COVID-19, these platforms are currently more popular than ever. With more people staying at home and some newly jobless during quarantine, people are turning to apps like Depop to not only make money, but also to search for deals on clothing. Depop’s U.S. sales are 150% higher than April’s from last year and Poshmark hit its highest peak ever in terms of sales during April as well. Although the future remains uncertain, some predict that this popularity will last post COVID-19, as many people will be excited to go out and socialize, but may not have the funds to buy brand new outfits to do so. Right now is an optimal time to get involved in the fashion resale business.
Choosing to buy and sell second hand clothing over purchasing new pieces is something anyone can participate in to do their part to save our environment. The endless options on Depop give everyone an opportunity to discover and develop their own original style and join a diverse community of people supporting a meaningful cause while doing so. This emerging side of the fashion industry takes a new perspective on an old issue, and only gets better with more participants. So what are you waiting for? Join the Depop community and start changing the business of fashion from your own closet.