TREND 3 Selling:
hustle culture /recommerce

Have you ever sold anything on the following websites or apps?

(Click the brand to reveal the percentage who have)


49% chose ‘none of the above’ and 2% chose ‘other (please specify)’ Sample answers: Vestaire, Grailed, Poshmark, ASOS Marketplace, Amazon. In total, 51% of students sold something online.

Source: Student Beans user survey, August 2021

One of my friends makes custom clothes. She has been doing the whole kind of y2k aesthetic of the bedazzled crop tops and things like that for like a while, and now that’s coming back. Another friend of mine, she has a jewelry line – she’s bringing back the really chunky jewellery and just bedazzled everything with rhinestones.

Taylor, 22, US Student

We often talk about Gen Z’s love of authenticity. They see straight through tick-box marketing efforts like rainbow washing and greenwashing. They have little to no time for brands who try and fail to speak their language. And they’ve long since turned their backs on aspirational super-celebrity influencers.

Over half of Gen Zs have sold something online

Ebay and Depop are battling it out for their most preferred platform.

24%Sold on Ebay
23%Sold on Depop

At present, Gen Zs who identify as male are more likely to sell online – 55% of males vs 49% of those who identify as female and 35% of non-binary respondents.

Combatting throwaway culture

Sustainability underpins a lot of Gen Zs’ reasoning for recommerce. 95% of UK Gen Zs and 93% of US Gen Zs want brands to do more to combat climate change and sustainability. As greenwashing runs rife across the world, Gen Zs are taking matters into their own hands. Apps like Depop empower them to give their clothes, shoes and accessories a second – or third or fourth – lifespan.

TikTok has been an unlikely resource for young people tapping into recommerce. From small business owners documenting their packaging processes, to trend forecasters shedding insight on why the trend life cycle is so hypercharged, it’s a place to get educated and celebrate small businesses.

This goes some way to explaining why Gen Zs are starting their own online side hustles and ecommerce brands – but not the full way. Their interest in reviving fashion eras from their childhoods taps into their nostalgia – reselling Y2K fashion or 90’s restructured clothing is a way to tap into a cultural moment with their peers.

Brand Example: Vans

Additional Resources
Future of Ecommerce PDF cover

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The Future of Ecommerce Report