How Gen Z found success on Depop in the midst of a pandemic



Making circular fashion cool.

“Build an empire from your bedroom”. For virtual fashion marketplace app Depop, this mantra has become a reality for its 20 million worldwide users stuck at home through COVID-19.

  • Depop was first launched in 2011
  • The app currently boasts over 15 million registered users
  • 90 per cent of its users are under the age of 26

Depop is an online platform that allows users to buy and sell one-of-a-kind clothes and accessories. It’s quirky, edgy and unique, and it’s right up Gen Zs’ alley.

Throughout the pandemic, Depop has been doing really well. Like, really well – in Australia, this past April has been its best month in its nine-year history.

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Speaking to Depop’s country manager Aria Wigneswaran, she explained that, “It’s bittersweet for us, but we’re seeing it like every item sold is going to someone in our community who may be in need or may not be.”

Depop’s top-selling categories include streetwear, vintage, Y2K and pre-loved wardrobe basics and their most popular brands continue to be Nike, Adidas, Champion and Brandy Melville.

But throughout COVID, it comes as no surprise that tie-dye sweatshirts and sweatpants, ugg slippers, loungewear and workout sets had a staggering 400-600 per cent rise in searches.

Depop reckons 90 per cent of its global user base is under the age of 26. In Australia, they estimate that one in four 15-29 year-olds are Depop users.

“Gen Z feels like a generation that’s not really being served by the current fashion industry. When we think about Gen Z and what they care about, they don’t want to be necessarily told what to wear or how to wear things. We see ourselves as offering an alternative to that,” says Aria.

Sustainability and entrepreneurship are two of the major driving forces for buyers and sellers on its platform. And with so many of us stuck at home, it’s opened up a new money-making avenue that’s accessible for all, with Aria donning it “the ultimate side hustle”.

“We found that the majority of our users rely on Depop as a supplementary or primary source of income… during this pandemic, that then increased.”

But as they continue to grow as a business, Depop’s focus is to mitigate the fashion industry’s harm on the platform.

“By extending the life of these items, it helps to reduce waste. It comes down to creating more value in what you already own, whether that be reselling… rework[ing], upcycle[ing] things,” says Aria. “We want to use our reach to drive that positive change in the fashion industry – [we want to make] fashion cool to be circular.”

And for those wanting to try their hand at secondhand selling, Aria has these tips:

“Really focus on taking the best pictures of your items. We’d encourage wearing the item, [photographing] from different angles and also including any pictures of any imperfections. Make sure that your descriptions are really detailed, make sure you’re communicating the ‘why’ behind the item – people really buy into a story. And lastly, being super active and providing great customer service for your buyers.”


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