Selfridges is attempting to court conscientious Gen Z shoppers with a new pop-up that prizes the sustainable concept of circularity.
The British retail chain will partner with London-based peer-to-peer social shopping app Depop, which allows users to sell a range of new and used products, including pre-worn and vintage clothing.
According to a statement from Selfridges, the new pop up is just one example of the retailer’s current and forthcoming efforts to explore sustainable programs in the face of what it called a “climate emergency.”
Selfridges said it is looking for “new ways to become more circular and help to drive radical transformation of the industry by collaborating with brands and partners whose activities challenge the way we experience and enjoy fashion.”
The Depop pop-up, entitled “Recreate the New: Fashioned for the Planet” will feature an informative installation within the Selfridges store that aims to put fashion’s impact on the environment on full display for shoppers. Seeking to physically emulate the Depop app’s interface, the retail space will feature a “kinetic rail” that shoppers can manipulate to control the assortment of products they’re seeing in store.
Throughout the month of September, high profile Depop sellers, like Sam Nowell and designer Patrick McDowell, will host public workshops to teach Selfridges customers how to extend the life of their clothing through reworking, tailoring and customization.
Each week, the pop-up will showcase different Depop sellers, who will exhibit a selection of garments from their Depop collections that will be exclusively sold through Selfridges. A collection of Depop garments will also be available on the retailer’s website.
Selfridges’ focus on sustainability, and the concept of circularity in particular, was sparked by its own consumer research. A recently comissioned Shopper Study, conducted by market research company OnePoll, revealed that young consumers are desperate for ethical options.
The majority (63 percent) of surveyed Gen Z shoppers said their concern about climate change and sustainability had grown stronger in just the last year. Most young shoppers (77 percent) also said those concerns were a factor in their purchasing decisions, and reducing waste was their ultimate priority.
The country’s young adult shoppers put the responsibility for “educating and guiding consumers” squarely on the shoulders of retailers, with 83 percent of respondents saying stores are duty-bound to share environmental knowledge and ethical products with their audiences.
“We are excited to be taking the lead in sustainable fashion by this first-of-its-kind collaboration with Depop in the U.K.,” said Selfridges head of sustainability, Daniella Vega, adding that the retailer takes its responsibility to protect the environment seriously, and is always looking for ways to “push the boundaries” and “challenge the norm” in luxury retail.
“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,” she added. “We are committed to buying better and inspiring change so that our customers can do the same.”