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

Are you leading a resale model for your fashion brand? Get in touch!

Access the Depop research report here.


See our other displacement work:
» One In Three Buy Used Clothes – Is Your Brand Missing Out?
» Understanding the environmental savings of buying pre-owned fashion

Jennifer Decker/

I enable businesses to reduce their business and product impacts from setting out a sustainability strategy to supporting the delivery of circular business models. Businesses I have supported include High Speed 1 Ltd, Cotton Incorporated, Argent, Heathrow Expansion, Northern Trust Bank, EDF New Nuclear Build, EY, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defence.

I specialise on working within an organisation which has included my tenure as sustainability specialist at EDF New Nuclear Build and at WRAP developing their Textiles 2030 agreement and produced their 2030 circular textiles pathway working with the major retailers, reuse & recycling businesses and charities.

Prior to QSA, I was an associate director at Mace Group where I enabled built environment clients to deliver their carbon reduction programmes and sustainable construction strategies by setting measurable KPIs and targets; creating tools to monitor; embed performance standards in procurement and communication.

Previously, I led the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan at WRAP setting the 2020 targets, strategy and implementation for the UK clothing industry.

Kristina Bull /

I led our project with Laudes Foundation and ReLondon on the Circular Fashion Fast Forward project that saw us develop circular models with adidas; FW and Farfetch as well as lay the foundations for Ted Baker’s work in this area.

I am leading the development of a fibre specific recycling programme within Europe which will be launched in early 2022.

I am an apparel durability expert with track record of change implementation at Whistles, ASOS, COS and worked with WRAP and John Lewis to produce a durability and quality guide for brands.

I have advised low carbon, resource efficiency and sustainability strategy development at Heathrow and High Speed 1 Ltd, and continue to lead the support work for HS1 through to their participation at COP26 in November 2021.

Before QSA at WRAP I delivered the market engagement and recruitment drive for the WRAP Halving Waste to Landfill agreement in the built environment sector.

Gerrard Fisher /

I have a strong track record in sustainability with a wide range of clients. My original background is in process and chemical engineering so I’ve been in to process and resource efficiency since graduating a long time ago!

I’ve supported circular business model transformation in companies such as adidas, Argos, ASOS, B&Q (Kingfisher), FARFETCH, FW, Samsung, MuJo Fitness and more: I led a team that created WRAP’s original circular business model project called REBus.

I have extensive experience working with electrical and electronic products, and I worked with many major global brands on improving design for durabiltiy and repairabilitly. Examples of projects I led include:

  • Groundbreaking research into the nature of mercury hazards in flat-panel TVs (leading to industry voluntary labelling)
  • Creation of design guides for retail buyers so they could improve the durability (and reduce warranty costs) of their own-brand products.
  • Delivery of communication campaigns that increased e-waste recycling collections by over 40% in target areas.

Through my past work at WRAP and beyond, I’ve also advised a range of governmental and NGO organisations on resource efficiency, ecodesign and circular economy including Defra, BEIS, Zero Waste Scotland, ReLondon and Oxfordshire County Council. I provide technical advisory and independent expert advice to UKRI, the European Commission, the US Government’s Department of Energy.

I get a kick out of helping businesses understand and meet their customers’ needs better - whether that’s through better business models, better product design or better communication and transparency.

This has also led me to take an interest in privacy and data management - which can be a big barrier to people reusing and recycling some of their old electrical stuff. As a result, I set up a business called Astrid to provide cost-effective privacy advice to small businesses so they can better protect their customer information.

Mark Hodgson /

I specialise on the innovation and proposition development of new customer orientated, commercially driven circular and sharing business model to market. I have a particular experience of working on circular models with sectors that are impacted by the change in lifestyles, consumption, digital mobility, electric infrastructure and NetZero, on place. Examples range from retail; IKEA, adidas, B&Q, ASOS, FarFetch, developers and OEM’s; Landsec & Samsung, mobility; Riversimple, HS1 & Co Cars and authorities; Oxford County Council and Exeter Velocities/Exeter City Council. Across all of these, I have helped deliver the propositions, services, operations and infrastructure to enable deployment. 

As a director of Co-cars, multi-modal shared e-mobility provider of EV cars, e-bikes and e-cargo bikes, I have first-hand experience of the impact and change this market can have on people and place, through working with local authorities and housing developers. 

I understand what processes and techniques to apply, how to encourage growth and change mindsets, and how to build a customer-focused, commercially viable business model that delivers circular and environmental benefits. My background is business development, technology and markets having worked for international companies to local SMEs. I've worked in a wide range of projects from global business propositions, sales as a service, sharing and circular business models, ‘low carbon’ LEP economic strategies, climate change adaptation, renewable energy, clean tech sector development and public sector partnerships to technical research, international development and project delivery management.

Being a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and geographer at heart I've worked on sustainable development projects and film productions in locations in Africa, Asia and Europe.