The Resale Revolution
By: Emily Menken
As environmental and humanitarian concern surrounding the fast-fashion industry become widespread, thrift shopping is on the rise. Online thrift stores like Poshmark, ThredUp, and Depop have become popular amongst millennials. The resale market is expected to double in the next five years -- sales of second-hand merchandise are predicted to expand from $24 billion in 2018 to $51 billion in 2023.
Depop in particular has differentiated itself by building a devoted (and young) community. Depop’s simple interface resembles Instagram’s: clean, square imagery with an emphasis on distinct, authentic curation. Identity and personality are essential - storefronts are the windows into the soul. Shoppers follow certain sellers who source then style clothing, whether that style is vintage, deconstructed, or hypebeast. And storeowners stand to make real money - one successful Depoper, Bella McFadden (24), has a devoted audience of 571k shoppers and a six-figure income.
According to Depop, 90% of 15 million active users are under 26 years old; the Gen Z shoppers value individualism and identify as “competitive aspirationalists”. In other words, Depop at once acts as a share-out of what’s trendy and also allows users to go against the grain by creating new trends.
Fast fashion creates more than 1 million tons of waste per year - and big brands like Nike, Adidas, and H&M have made commitments to combat that. Still, online thrifting allows for an ineffable individualism that mass-produced clothing will always lack.