DEPOP, the community-powered platform for buying and selling second hand fashion, is the latest platform to deploy QSA’s pioneering displacement research methodology to evidence its role in reducing the environmental impact of fashion.
The co-authored report, The power of secondhand: How Resale Slows Consumption, follows QSA’s displacement research into Depop’s global user behaviours to understand the extent to which buying second hand prevents the purchase of new items elsewhere.
The research for Depop, conducted by QSA in partnership with Icaro, was based on a sample of over 5,500 Depop users across UK, US, and Australia, and showed that 9 in 10 purchases made on Depop prevented the purchase of a new item elsewhere. The data specifically verifies that resale, and Depop’s model in particular, is slowing demand for new fashion.
The QSA displacement methodology, which was used in partnership with Farfetch in 2019, and latterly used by Vestiaire Collective in 2021, is helping the sector build crucial data to understand the role of second hand in driving change on purchasing behaviour.
The now open-source displacement methodology specifically seeks to understand whether second hand purchases are changing consumption patterns. It is particularly important in an emerging market to verify that models are working as intended instead of fuelling further consumption.
Cathy Moscardini, Sustainability Manager at Depop said, ‘This displacement research is a game-changer for us. Not only has it enabled us to evidence the shift in consumer behaviour we are facilitating through our platform; it’s also bringing visibility to how we compare to the rest of the market.’
QSA’s Kristina Bull said, ‘we are thrilled that this methodology is gaining traction and, critically, building a growing body of market insight into how resale is changing the way people shop. The latest research from Depop demonstrates that there is a ready, vibrant market for second-hand, and we’d encourage brands to take note. Reseller models are building strong brands and capturing the resale value of what they produce – effectively getting a second bite of the cherry. We urge other brands and retailers to undertake their own displacement research to understand opportunities to evolve their customer offer’.
KEY FINDINGS FROM THE DEPOP DISPLACEMENT RESEARCH.
- 9 in 10 purchases made on Depop prevent the purchase of a brand-new item elsewhere. This rate of displacement is consistent across all three countries surveyed, from 88% in the US, 90% in the UK, to 93% in Australia.
- On average, Depop users estimate that they wear an item a total of 46 times before it is discarded. This is highest in the UK, and lowest in Australia (UK – 49; US – 45; Australia – 44). This compares to non-Depop users, where other studies estimate that some garments are discarded after just 7 to 10 wears.
- When clearing out wardrobes, our community had a clear preference for extending the life of a garment – through resale, charity shops and passing items to friends and family.
- 58% donate to a charity or thrift shop
- 53% sell on
- 41% pass to friends or family
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Access the Depop research report here.