Depop teams up with charities to grow fashion resale

Fashion marketplace app Depop is launching a dedicated programme to help charity shops build successful online businesses on its marketplace. The new Charity Seller Programme will provide charities on Depop with tools, resources, exclusive offers and personalised support to effectively leverage the platform as an e-commerce channel.

This follows a period of significant growth for charity e-commerce. The volume of charity shop listings on Depop has increased by nearly 600% since the beginning of UK lockdown in March 2020. According to data from the Charity Retail Association (the industry organisation for charity shops), the average charity shop in the UK lost over £33,000 in income when high streets closed during the third lockdown.

Some of the most successful charity sellers on Depop include: 

  • British Heart Foundation@thebhf – Offering a trend-led collection of secondhand fashion ranging from accessories to retro sportswear and vintage wedding dresses, to fund research into heart and circulatory diseases

  • Oxfam Festival Shop@oxfamfestivalshop – Selling vintage and secondhand festival fashion to raise money for Oxfam’s global poverty-fighting work

  • Demelza Hospice@demelzahospice – Specialising in secondhand bargains, from designer handbags to classic clothing. Funds raised provide specialist care and support for children with serious or terminal conditions, and their families, across Kent, East Sussex and South East London

  • Traid@traid – Selling streetwear, vintage and labels, to fund work tackling the negative impacts of making, consuming and wasting clothes. Global shipping.

Rachel Swidenbank, VP of Sellers at Depop, says, “The pandemic prompted many charities to pivot towards online selling, and we think there’s an amazing opportunity to build on this as the popularity of secondhand fashion continues to grow. Using platforms like Depop, charities can reach a much wider audience with a more extensive offering than they can on their shop floors. 73% of unwanted clothing is still incinerated or landfilled – together with the charity sector, we’re advocating for a wider audience to buy and sell secondhand as an undeniably better option for the planet and its people.”

“We’re passionate about helping our sellers succeed, and this programme is aimed at encouraging charities to thrive online by keeping them ahead of the latest trends, and sharing insights on digital merchandising.” 

Participants in the new Charity Seller Programme will be able to access support in the form of: 

  • Tips on trending categories and in-demand items: Regular updates on the most popular brands, styles, and items on Depop and among the Gen Z audience, so you know what buyers are looking for 

  • Personalized support: Access to an online community of listings experts and other charity sellers, who can help support your shop as it grows – through tips, advice and Q&A

  • Exclusive offers and discounts: Special opportunities for charity sellers to complete listing challenges and earn incentives or free fee periods

  • Promotion in the Depop app: The opportunity to participate in regular ‘drops’ from charity sellers, promoted to Depop users

  • Onboarding: Tutorials and guides to introduce best practices for success

Charities looking to register a new Depop shop can email to connect with a member of the team. 

Experiences and case studies:  

Allison Swaine-Hughes, Retail Director at the British Heart Foundation: “We have been delighted by the response to our Depop account and feel like we have been truly embraced by its online community. Since launching, we have become one of the top sellers on the site, with a five-star rating and now have 14,000 followers, who have helped raise £28,000 for the charity’s vital research into heart and circulatory diseases.

“As the UK’s largest charity retailer, we are always seeking to expand our online operations and explore different avenues for raising funds for the charity’s important work. The Depop team were a fantastic support to us while we were setting up this initiative and continue to be so. It has been the ideal platform for us to sell trend-led donated items and attract a new audience of fashion focused shoppers, who are passionate about sustainability.”

Megan Brown, Festival Shop Manager at Oxfam GB: “Depop provided a current, efficient and much needed avenue for us to still be able to raise vital income, when there were no festivals or events running, to help put an end to poverty around the world. We still sell on Depop, when we are not in a field or at a pop-up, allowing us to raise as much money as possible. Depop has provided us with endless support, advice and contacts that allow us to do this in the easiest way possible. Not only are we able to spread awareness of our charity’s aim and raise money, we are also using fashion to fight poverty – preventing textiles from going to landfill, on a platform that holds similar values.”

Gemma Cruttenden, Retail E-Commerce and Communications Manager, Demelza Hospice: “Having started our Depop store during the first Covid-19 lockdown to carry on raising funds while our high street stores were closed, we were quickly accepted on to the Top Seller programme, which has been invaluable. The advice from our Accounts Manager, along with the support from the Depop community, has helped us refine our Depop store into a solid brand and consistent income for Demelza Hospice.”

Enedina Columbano, Commercial Director at TRAID: “Keeping clothes in use for longer is the core of TRAID’s work – an action we can all take to significantly reduce our waste, water and carbon footprint. Using Depop as an online selling platform is a brilliant complement to our bricks and mortar charity shops, extending our customer base both in the UK and globally, and providing more people than ever with access to high quality, environmentally friendly, second-hand fashion.”

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