The issue of sustainability in the fashion industry is finally being combated with a rise in reselling and buying used clothes. As more and more people switch to buying vintage from thrift stores instead of purchasing from retail stores and fast fashion brands, websites like Poshmark and EBay have expanded their clientele base, though they now have steady competition. Depop, an app with over 21 million active users, has become the vintage and thrift consumer’s haven since it’s popularization in March of 2020.
Founded in London by the co-founder of PIG magazine and RETROSUPERFUTURE Sunglasses Simon Beckerman, Depop was reinvisioned from an app selling featured clothing to a market place where anyone can become a retailer. People from around the world are able to see what inspires others, as well as participate in the buying and selling of the latest trends. It focuses on creating connections via design, culture, and commerce. Depop seemingly has something for everyone, from sneakerheads to 90s streetwear enthusiasts.
Depop’s main market is Gen-Z, with over 90% of their users being under the age of 26. By empowering the younger generation to sell their thrift finds and clothes they no longer fit into or want to wear, Depop is creating a fun and eye-catching way to inspire the idea of a sustainable closet. Their message to the world revolves around changing the way society views fashion, and starting with the younger generation is the perfect way to instigate this change.
The main criticism Depop has faced revolves around thrifted clothing being sold at higher, more exorbitant prices. In turn, some thrift stores have been inflating their prices, making it harder for people who need cheap clothing to even afford thrift stores. The gentrification of thrifting, only more popularized by Depop, is displacing people who relied on thrift stores. Prices are increased with the flood of wealthier clientele turning to the trend of shopping at thrift stores, and now on Depop.
Currently, Depop has four ongoing initiatives surrounding their responsibility as a fashion company. They will focus on the governance within the company, the treatment of their staff, the strain on the planet relating to the fashion industry, and their platform itself. One such challenge they have taken on is making Depop climate neutral by 2021, meaning they will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to as close to 0% as possible, and also compensate for any remaining emissions. Through their ability to work with brands that prioritize responsibly made fashion, Depop plans to provide educational resources and mentorship opportunities to help entrepreneurs, creatives or small businesses from underrepresented groups.
Depop is taking the world of vintage and thrift by storm, while creating a consumer and eco-friendly retail experience.