How fashion resale site Depop tapped into the minds of Gen Z

Nearly each firm and model needs to grasp how Gen Z operates. However few are as tapped into this era as Depop, the social purchasing app that launched in 2011 and has since grown to 30 million customers, 90% of whom are underneath the age of 26. 

They use Depop, which Quick Firm acknowledged as one of this 12 months’s Most Revolutionary Corporations in Retail, to purchase and promote classic fashion, second-hand streetwear, and one-of-a-kind gadgets; to attach with each other; and to identify and take part in rising fashion traits. Depop’s sturdy neighborhood caught the consideration of e-commerce big Etsy, which acquired Depop over the summer time for $1.6 billion. 

On this week’s Most Innovative Companies podcast, Depop CEO Maria Raga, who joined the firm in 2014, talks about learn how to construct a social commerce neighborhood that captures the hearts and minds of youthful customers. 


It begins with having a robust sense of function. “We didn’t construct this platform essentially for Gen Z,” Raga says. “We mainly have a set of values that occur to resonate fairly nicely with Gen Z.” For Depop, which means a platform that champions self-expression by means of fashion, permits entrepreneurship, and promotes sustainability by means of resale and round fashion. 

Earlier this 12 months, Depop partnered with Bain & Firm on a report about the Gen Z mindset. Amongst the findings, says Raga, is that “Gen Z is extraordinarily fluid. [For them] it’s not this or that; it’s this and that.” This interprets into how they method fashion on Depop, which permits customers to embrace experimental appears and swap up their aesthetic from day-to-day, whether or not they’re going for a tweedy “darkish academia” look, the classic wool sweaters of the “cabincore” pattern, or the Britney-esque fashions of Y2k. Since Depop offers customers a number of methods to attach and talk with each other, the platform is now stuffed with micro-communities that amass round totally different aesthetics and types. 

This sense of fluidity additionally informs how members of Gen Z method life: with an entrepreneurial mindset. “They’re mainly defining new paths to turn into profitable,” Raga explains. “They don’t take into consideration essentially going to school. They assume, ‘what are the issues that I need to do or that make me really feel passionate?’ That [often] means having a number of jobs.” One of them may very well be a Depop store, which may function both a aspect hustle or a full-on artistic enterprise endeavor. 

As Depop’s profile has grown, an rising quantity of fashion labels are turning to the platform as a strategy to both introduce themselves to a brand new era or burnish their road credibility. In accordance with Raga, these collaborations work once they’re natural and genuine, and Depop approaches them fastidiously. The platform labored with Ralph Lauren a number of years in the past to showcase the model’s basic appears in a single of Depop’s signature brick-and-mortar shops, on London’s Bond Avenue. For a Benetton partnership this previous Might, Depop curated a group of classic gadgets from throughout the platform’s sellers. A Vans collaboration in 2020 had the shoemaker accomplice with some of Depop’s main sellers, who every designed a pair of sneakers that have been produced and offered on the site. “It’s all about showcasing creativity or bringing heritage manufacturers again,” says Raga. 

In the meantime, Raga is seeking to new guardian firm Etsy for assist in scaling Depop to fulfill the rising demand for it. Which means getting assist tackling every part from funds and delivery mechanisms to the inevitable belief and questions of safety that may come up as the platform expands. “Etsy went by means of related challenges that we’re going by means of proper now,” Raga says. “We thought that [the acquisition] may very well be a great way for us to ship our mission and assist our customers in a sooner and higher means.”

One factor is for certain: Raga intends to maintain cultivating Depop’s vibrancy and distinct identification underneath Etsy. “We need to construct the most progressive and various dwelling of fashion,” she says.