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Etsy’s £1.1bn acquisition of secondhand clothing app Depop, to tap into the youth market, is a powerful indicator for the fashion industry.


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Vintage finds? Y2K-era items? That pair of sneakers you couldn’t find anywhere else? Take a quick scan through Depop and you can find pretty much anything you are looking for. Literally thousands of them.

So, it’s somewhat unsurprising that consumer-oriented businesses have had their eye on the second-hand clothing app beloved by Gen-Z and millennials buying, selling, and discovering distinctly unique items in this e-space (founded in 2011). The network of shoppers belonging to the Depop community is vast: there are currently four million active buyers and two million active sellers utilising the app; revenues from the past year skyrocketed to around £50 million.

This week Etsy acquired the app for over £1.1bn. Etsy’s CEO, Josh Silverman, commented: “We are simply thrilled to be adding Depop – what we believe to be the resale home for Gen-Z consumers – to the Etsy family.” Silverman went on to say that the two businesses have found synergy in their shared values. “We’re both about supporting creative entrepreneurs.”


This fashion marriage marks a shift in the second-hand ecosystem. The Etsy family, for instance, is more generally targeted towards millennials or older (the average Etsy shopper is around 39 years-old, according to the Financial Times). Whereas Depop, like TikTok, generally caters to the digitally-savvy youth market (90 percent of the app’s users are under the age of 25).

Depop, built on second-hand finds, is a natural choice for the Gen-Z crowd. In a report cultivated by Depop with consultancy Bain & Company, the behaviours of the young consumer (AKA Depop shopper) were unpacked. Gen-Z’s are more ethical and conscious shoppers, the report found: 75% of those surveyed said that they are looking to reduce clothing consumption and 45% said the app boosts their ability to find the latest trends.

In tandem with the aesthetic value and accessibility factor, Depop offers comes the financial rewards (75 percent of Depop sellers are also buyers). It’s a triple whammy: with under-25s merging the realms of fashion, culture and entrepreneurship like no other. Making choices about how they spend their cash to reflect their fluid identities and fending off fast fashion in the process. 


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