Selfridges new depop shop puts emphasis on sustainability

by Stephen Garner

Iconic British luxury retailer Selfridges has teamed up with social shopping app Depop to open a pop-up on the third floor of the retailer’s Oxford Street flagship store. The new pop-up, which opened in August, is one of a number of initiatives that reflect the store’s on-going commitment to reimagining what shopping and style might look like in response to the climate emergency.

Depop Space Selfridges will showcase different Depop sellers each week exhibiting a selection of key pieces from their Depop collections available for purchase only at Selfridges. An additional exclusive collection of pieces is available online on​ ​Selfridges.com​. The retail space itself will act to physically reimagine the digital marketplace with a kinetic rail that visitors can control to view the range on offer.

The installation aims to reimagine the retail space in an industry where the environmental impact of fashion is increasingly at the forefront of customer’s minds. This month’s focus for the shop is sustainability, featuring sellers who advocate for reducing fashion’s global impact and reflect Selfridges’ prioritization of providing sustainable and ethical fashion choices for its shoppers. During the month of September, Depop sellers such as Sam Nowell and designer Patrick McDowell will host hands-on workshops for the public, teaching customers how to extend the life of pre-loved garments through reworking, tailoring, and customization.

This partnership with Depop steamed from Selfridges’ new Shopper Study data, conducted by OnePoll, which backs up the notion that young consumers like to shop ethically. Two-thirds (63 percent) of Gen Z shoppers who responded to the survey said they were more concerned about climate change and sustainability issues than they were just one year ago. Concerns for the environment are influencing their shopping choices with over three-quarters (77 percent) of this age profile saying that when they are thinking about the products they buy their biggest environmental concern is that they want their choices to reduce waste.

The UK’s youngest adult shoppers are also quick to say that it’s stores that should be stepping-up, with 83 percent agreeing that ‘the responsibility for educating and guiding consumers’ squarely sits with retailers.

Choosing pre-loved fashion is most popular with the Gen Z generation, as the Selfridges Shopper Study shows that over half (58 percent) reveal that they either often or sometimes shop for second-hand and vintage clothing. Selfridges and Depop’s partnership has ensured that no fashion compromise has been taken – with carefully curated collections themed each month to surprise and delight customers of all ages.

“We are excited to be taking the lead in sustainable fashion by this first-of-its-kind collaboration with Depop in the UK,” said Daniella Vega, head of sustainability at Selfridges. “Selfridges takes seriously its responsibility to protect the environment and our Buying Better Inspiring Change initiative always looks for ways to push the boundaries in luxury retail – to challenge the norm. This new survey data supports our understanding of our youngest adult fashion shoppers, for whom there is no compromise when it comes to seeking out style that doesn’t harm the planet. We are committed to buying better and inspiring change so that our customers can do the same.”

“Sustainability is changing the landscape of fashion and the Depop community is helping to define this movement,” added Peter Semple, chief marketing officer at Depop. “Depop’s mission is to empower the next generation to transform fashion. Our collaboration with Selfridges is an exciting opportunity for members of our community to extend their reach offline, take their business to the next level, and change perceptions of the industry’s potential.”

With the success of its two physical spaces in the U.S. (Depop Space NY and Depop Space LA), Depop Space Selfridges is the platform’s first branded retail space in the UK.

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