Exeter, Devon UK • Feb 22, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Comment A guide to the revolution of second-hand fashion

A guide to the revolution of second-hand fashion

Online Comment Editor, Charlie Oldroyd, discusses the impact and caveats of second-hand fashion.
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It’s no secret that online second-hand selling platforms like Depop and Vinted are slowly dominating the clothing market. However, simultaneously, the fast fashion market is revolving and reinventing itself. Shein, Aliexpress, and most recently, Temu boast a bloated percentage of market shares. Shein has hit a 2.2% market share in the UK’s fashion industry in 2023, falling just behind industry giant Zara. In an attempt to combat the social and environmental ramifications of excessive consumption, millions are flocking to keep their purchases circular.

Shein has hit a 2.2% market share in the UK’s fashion industry in 2023, falling just behind industry giant Zara.

As a member of both Depop and Vinted, both platforms are fantastic for different reasons. Depop boasts a highly stylised collection of vintage and modern fashions, with a selection that wouldn’t look out of place on your Pinterest board. With their Top Seller programme, the rewards of joining Depop grow by the day. Sellers can pitch to a wide audience, even selling internationally. Alternately, whilst it won’t win any awards for presentation, Vinted sells items for a fraction of their retail price. Commonly understood as an ‘online charity shop’, Vinted sells items from as little as a pound. Sellers can draw from their Vinted balance to reinvest their earnings in new styles, meaning you don’t have to spend out of pocket. Vinted also offer verification for designer items for an extra fee, combatting in-app scamming.

Depop boasts a highly stylised collection of vintage and modern fashions, with a selection that wouldn’t look out of place on your Pinterest board.

My many hours spent scrolling and reinvesting in my wardrobe means that I have also experienced the flaws of second-hand clothing apps. As a seller, a sizeable chunk of my earnings go towards Depop fees. These fees can be unexpected, especially on larger sales. Furthermore, I’ve had many debacles with customer service. As a new member it can be difficult to get your head around your seller rights. As a veteran seller, I would recommend proceeding with caution and sticking by the rules to avoid disappointment. Depop is also home to ‘scalpers’- people who sell items for a large or fast profit. It’s essential to avoid overly-expensive and trendy items that will eventually lose their value. I would recommend investing in pieces that will keep most of their value, or that are wardrobe essentials.

As a veteran seller, I would recommend proceeding with caution and sticking by the rules to avoid disappointment.

Whilst online second-hand shopping must be commended, it’s important to stick to our thrifty roots. Charity shops are also an amazing source of affordable clothing. In person, you are able to examine the quality of the garments, or even try them on. Many online platforms are dominated by resellers, who overcharge for their time spent curating clothing collections. If you have a good eye, you can also find gems in person, yourself.

Finally, I recommend approaching online thrifting with curiosity and caution. It is important to treat buyers and sellers with kindness and respect to build a good reputation. Repairing and up-cycling items means that clothing can be given an extended life span. This means that it’s possible for everyone to look unique whilst promoting climate justice!

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