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Depop teams up with UK charities to grow fashion resale

By Rachel Douglass

1 Oct 2021

Business

Image: Depop

Fashion marketplace app Depop has announced it will be launching a programme dedicated to assisting charity shops in the building of their online businesses through its marketplace.

Through its new Charity Seller Programme, Depop aims to provide a variety of UK-based charities with the tools, resources, exclusive offers and personalised support to aid them in building their online presence and e-commerce channels. The implementation of the programme follows the growth of charity shop listings on the app, with an increase of nearly 600 percent since March 2020, according to a company press release.

Charities involved

A number of charities have already gained substantial followings using the platform. The British Heart Foundation, which currently has 14K followers, offers a variety of trend-led collections from second-hand fashion, while Oxfam focuses on festival wear and vintage goods, with proceeds that contribute to Oxfam’s global work.

Megan Brown, Oxfam’s festival shop manager, said: “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.”

Specialist childcare charity Demelza Hospice also provides a number of secondhand items, including designer handbags. Listings on the charity’s page include vintage Lacoste sweaters, racing jackets and Radley London bags. On the other hand, Traid, an organisation dedicated to the negative impact of clothing manufacturing, sells streetwear, vintage and labels to fund its work.

Pandemic-related circumstances

The growth in charity usage is likely connected to the pandemic-related measures that were in place, with the industry organisation Charity Retail Association stating that “the average charity shop in the UK lost over 33,000 pounds in income when high streets closed during the third lockdown”.

Vice president of sellers at Depop, Rachel Swidenbank said on the programme: “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.

“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.”

Initiative features

Participants in Depop’s programme will receive a number of special support opportunities, including regular tips and information on market research, popular items and how to target a specific audience. They will also receive personalised support, allowing access to online experts and other sellers who can support the growth.

Additionally, the charities will earn exclusive offers and discounts with special incentives and regular in-app promotion opportunities. Tutorials and guides will further be available to participants.

“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 pounds for the charity’s vital research into heart and circulatory diseases,” said Allison Swaine-Hughes, retail director at the British Heart Foundation.

“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,” she continued. “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.”