NOTHING IN LIFE IS FREE… OR IS IT?
Youth pick up, trade, and resell
Being part of the next big trend doesn’t necessarily mean getting in on the latest drop or spending big to buy exclusive. Instead, Gen Z and Millennials are playing a different game, leaning on each other for their wardrobe revamp, their next piece of furniture, and sometimes even groceries for tonight’s dinner! Today, we’re covering three movements pushing the boundaries of sustainable communities and turning capitalism upside down.
BUY NOTHING PROJECT
Buy Nothing Project is a Facebook movement with over 300K followers that encourages members to exchange or look for free items before buying. Members of the group give or trade everything from furniture, clothes, to even cooking spray! Now, they’re expanding their reach through a BuyNothing app set to release globally next month. With over 70% of the app's beta users coming from outside of the Buy Nothing Facebook group, they’re underlining the demand for a gift economy that has the ability to actually challenge capitalist culture.
“One person’s trash is another person’s treasure!” says the bio of @stoopingnyc, and its 200K followers are here for it. The Instagram community helps New Yorkers find thrown-out items worth giving a new life. Recently, the community held a strong debate over a graffiti artist who painted over a tossed couch. Users expressed anger over the graffiti artist’s “privilege,” noting his unwillingness to preserve a piece of furniture that someone else might have needed. This strong vigor for sustainability isn’t going away any time soon, and brands should take note of how far reusability can go.
Highlighted in Cassandra Daily both in 2015 and 2018, this year, the popular Gen Z resale app, Depop, has been acquired by Etsy for $1.6 billion. Depop has a social media platform feel, allowing users to see what others are browsing and making space to explore distinct niche fashion identities. With growth of “30 million users, 90% of whom are under age 26,” Depop understands that Gen Z is not about “this or that, but rather, this and that” as they navigate the world as entrepreneurs with “a fluid way of processing the world.” Depop says the secret to their success with Gen Z is their strong sense of purpose around self-expression and sustainability, which resonates so strongly with this generation–and we couldn’t agree more!