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Eastpak Courts Depop’s Gen Z Fan Base With $50 Upcycled Backpacks

Eastpak is buying into the circular economy through a partnership with a popular resale platform.

The VF Corp.-owned brand’s new collection of upcycled backpacks is the result of a collaboration with Depop, the marketplace where Gen Z consumers buy and sell pre-owned fashion with their peers. Dubbed Re-built to Resist, the campaign features 50 one-of-a-kind products made from pre-owned packs, available exclusively on Eastpak’s virtual Depop storefront for $50.

Built for longevity with durable materials, most of the styles fall under a 30-year warranty policy that encourages shoppers to “buy better, and buy less,” Eastpak said. The Re-built to Resist collection is made from products that arrived at its warranty center damaged or worn beyond repair. Each upcycled backpack fuses the parts from two salvaged bags, blending color ways and prints. One of Eastpak’s most common silhouettes, the Padded Pak’r features a laptop sleeve and a padded back panel and shoulder straps, and is sold with a wrapping bag made from leftover materials.

The new line was designed to “showcase just how durable Eastpak product is,” Domitille Parent, vice president of global brand management, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to work with a like-minded partner like Depop—a leader in changing how we view and buy fashion—as Eastpak continues to work for a sustainable future,” she added.

Parent hopes that the partnership will allow Eastpak to reach new shoppers while spotlighting the importance of recycling and reuse in the fashion sector. The Depop platform’s more than 30 million users in 150-plus countries offers a compelling venue for unique designs in limited quantities, Eastpak said.

Etsy‘s $1.63 billion purchase of Depop in June underscores the growing popularity of resale among a rising generation. Urban Outfitters subsequently unveiled its own secondhand play with peer-to-peer app Nuuly Thrift in August, building on the success of its rental program.

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Piper Sandler’s annual Taking Stock With Teens survey, published in October, illustrated Gen Z’s deepening commitment to promoting a circular fashion economy. The investment bank’s analysis of more than 10,000 teen shoppers revealed a growing concern for environmental issues like climate change, solidifying their status as the “conscious generation.”

Most teens already engage with resale platforms, with 51 percent of Piper Sandler survey respondents saying they had purchased and 62 percent saying they had sold secondhand, up 4 percent and 7 percent, respectively, from the spring. Teens spend an estimated 8 percent of their total shopping time browsing and buying pre-owned wares, the data showed.

What’s more, Eastpak’s Depop deal comes as resale platforms are increasingly giving brands direct access to their valuable audiences. Lucky Brand and Free People were among the inaugural brands to open their own “closet” on Poshmark’s peer-to-peer secondhand platform, where they have a new opportunity to get product in front of fresh prospects, offer limited-edition collections or even clear out inventory.

Additional reporting by Jessica Binns.