Depop is a community-powered marketplace app to buy and sell unique fashion. Our platform has been shaped by the belief that listening to our community is the key to futureproofing our business: the Depop user base is overwhelmingly from Gen Z and we highly value the voice of
this generation.

Bain & Company is a global consultancy that helps the world’s most ambitious change makers define the future. In fashion and luxury goods, it is the pre-eminent thought leader.

Together, we spoke with more than 2,000 Depop buyers and sellers in the US, UK and Australia about how this generation is changing business as usual.

Research methodology

This report is the product of extensive quantitative and qualitative research including:

  • An October 2020 survey of 2,167 Depop users on sustainability-related topics. All were aged 24 or under, making them Gen Z members. All data quoted from this and other research has
    been rounded.
  • One-to-one interviews with Depop users in the UK, US
    and Australia.
  • Bain expertise and knowledge across industries (Fashion & Luxury, Retail, Consumer Products), and cross-generational observation
    of customers.
  • Analysis of existing research on Gen Z across academic fields.

Growing up in an era of ubiquitous digital technology and an unmatched rate of change, Gen Z has developed an interconnected and fluid way of processing the world, rather than digesting it through a binary framework.

For them, it’s not about this or that, but rather, this and that. This mindset represents a paradigm shift when compared to older generations and sets them apart as a distinctive group of people despite their differences of culture, language or race.

In this report, we explore how this mindset has changed the conception of empathy, self- expression, exchange and newness. We consider how Gen Z is more vulnerable to macrolevel uncertainties within a digitally charged globalised economy and are aware of the effects these stresses have on inherent human vulnerabilities. We analyse how they are driven by individual authenticity while also understanding that collectivity empowers individuality, leading to calls for action in the face
of adversity.

We examine how their interaction and consumption across physical and digital platforms has blurred boundaries between commerce, entertainment and connection, laying the foundations for fluid entrepreneurship. Finally, we investigate how Gen Z is reimagining newness in fashion to fit its needs and its values.

The Depop X Bain & Company Report

How Gen Z's empathy, awareness and fluidity are transforming business as usual

The Depop X Bain & Company Report

How Gen Z's empathy, awareness and fluidity are transforming business as usual



Our insights are grouped into four sections, moving from inner, individually focussed concerns to wider, collective behaviours:

1. Empathy and awareness

We start at the centre with the individual and explore how Gen Z thinks and feels

2. Self-expression

We then move to the outward manifestation of the individual and examine how Gen Z expresses its empathy and awareness

3. Exchange & interconnection

We move further out to the exchange between individual and ecosystem to analyze how Gen Z interacts with the world and economy, as consumers and producers

4. Reimagining newness

We end by exploring the wider context of how Gen Z is reimagining fashion consumption in light of its aforementioned non-binary empathy, awareness, self-expression and exchange