Second-hand September: Selfridges hosts clothing resale pop-up

Selfridges believes the pop-up supports its vision of a department store being "=a social centre

The retailer is hosting a dedicated pop-up space, called Depop Space Selfridges, at its flagship London store until the end of September.

The pop up will feature second-hand clothing from some of Depop’s most popular sellers – specifically, those who are using their voice on the platform to advocate for a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry.

It will also be used as an events space, where such sellers, along with designers and activists, will host workshops around topics such as clothing care, customisation, tailoring and styling.

Selfridges said in a statement that the aim of the pop-up will be to “reimagine the retail space in an industry where the environmental impact of fashion is increasingly at the forefront of customer’s minds”.

The pop-up notably marks the first time that Depop, which is run through a digital app and website, has partnered with a retailer to offer a bricks-and-mortar shopping format.

However, Selfridges will also sell an exclusive collection of second-hand pieces from Depop sellers on its own retail site during the pop-up, claiming that the physical store will act to “reimagine the digital marketplace with a kinetic rail that visitors can control to view the range on offer”.

Selfridges’ head of sustainability Danielle Vega said the launch of the pop-up comes at a time when Gen-Z shoppers are driving a boom in the clothing resale and customisation markets, due to the fact that they are thinking about climate issues while shopping.

The retailer’s most recent survey, conducted by OnePoll among a group of 300 UK-based members of Gen Z, found that almost six in ten regularly shop for second-hand or vintage clothing. Similarly, two-thirds said they are more concerned about climate change and other environmental and social issues than they were during summer 2018, with this rising concern having altered their spending habits in regards to fashion.

“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,” Vega said.

“We are committed to buying better and inspiring change so that our customers can do the same.”

Making second-hand stylish

September is always a busy month for the fashion sector with the Fashion Week season kicking off, giving designers the chance to showcase their creations for the autumn/winter season and beyond.

But this year, the start of the month also marked the start of Oxfam’s international campaign aimed at changing the general public’s fashion shopping habits in a way that will minimise waste.

Under the tagline #SecondhandSeptember, the charity is encouraging people to avoid buying any new fashion items until at least October 1, instead shopping second hand, swapping with others and wearing what they already own.

In support of the campaign, Oxfam has opened what it describes as the UK’s first “superstore” for second-hand clothing sold in aid of charitable causes, in Oxford.

Similarly, Asda is trialling its first in-store pop-up for second-hand clothing to mark the occasion. Located at its Milton Keynes store, the ‘Re-Loved’ pop up will be used to gauge consumer attitudes to shopping for used apparel and to raise money for Asda’s charitable Tickled Pink campaign, which supports Breast Cancer Now and Breast Cancer Care.

Sarah George

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