creativity stories

Depop and the Era of “Pre-Loved” Clothes

Reading Time: 4 minutes

What do you do with the clothes you no longer want? Maybe you pass them off as hand-me-downs to your younger siblings or relatives. Or maybe you occasionally drop off several large bags of clothes at the nearest donation center. What if instead, you created your own vintage clothing shop? You’d curate the inventory, you’d design the shop’s aesthetic, and you’d receive 100% of the profits. The best part? You can operate all of this entirely from your phone. Now, I’m not introducing a groundbreaking scenario as there are many applications that allow you to sell your stuff, but what if this app included a social element that appealed to you? It’s safe to say that for the majority of millennials living in America today (myself included), we devote several hours per day to our favorite social networking applications. We’ve become experts in curating our virtual lives and managing them on several different platforms. So what’s one more app? Meet Depop. As the Guardian perfectly described it, Depop is “a practical marriage between eBay (used stuff for sale) and Instagram (curated lives).”

Quick Facts

  • Depop is a UK based app
  • Users sell their clothes, shoes, and jewelry
  • The app currently has 15 million users
  • Majority of its users are under the age of 26
  • Some users are making up to $100,000 per year from their shops

How Does It Work?

While this app has been around for several years, it’s clear to see why it has recently taken off. Sellers have designed their shop feeds in the same unique manner as their Instagram pages. It also helps that Depop is no different than Instagram in that the user interface is set up very similarly. How it works is, you would create a post for an item just as you’d post a picture on Instagram. Once you settle on an item, you can write any description you desire that mentions the brand, size, price, condition and any other relevant details that give your potential customers a clear idea of what you’re selling. Each item can feature up to four photos and a video if you so wish to share. Once you post the item, followers can then “like,” “comment” and “message” ultimately engaging with your shop. And because this is a peer-to-peer platform, it’s easy to detect the authentic accounts from the phony ones. And if I know anything when it comes to social media, it’s that authenticity drives engagement. This insight seems to also be appreciated by the current Depop CEO, Maria Raga. When talking about the app, she continuously defines used clothes as being, “pre-loved.” I absolutely adore this phrase. So much so, that I decided to test the app myself and open my own tiny vintage shop.

“Pre-Loved” Clothes Over Everything

Ever since I was in middle school I’ve been a curvaceous girl. I quickly learned that the popular tween brands never carried clothes that stretched wide enough for my cute and chubby thirteen-year-old self. It was around that age that I first discovered my love for secondhand stores. Growing up in Seattle, the hipster capital of America, we had access to plenty of stores that offered quality used clothes. One of the first times I went to Buffalo Exchange, a popular secondhand store in Seattle, I happily walked out with several jeans (the hardest thing to shop for in my opinion), tops, and jackets all very much within a thirteen-year-old’s $40 a week income. I became hooked. Now, I can see how some people would find this uncomfortable. I will say though that I only purchase gently used clothes in solid condition and I of course draw the line at previously used undergarments and shoes. They may be pre-loved but they will not be pre-loving on me.

Once I discovered Depop, I began to look at my closet and see the potential in my clothes. As soon as I selected the clothes that I no longer wanted, I began to visualize how I’d present them. I created a mini photoshoot where I styled and photographed myself wearing the items that I eventually posted to sell on my page. I had a lot of fun with that. The photos are simple but authentically reflect my style and comfort. In a way, I felt as though I stepped into the mindset of a small business owner. That’s what’s incredible about this app. It has the potential to teach its users what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. To start a business in their own home and potentially generate a decent profit. As far as I’m concerned, this platform creates an awesome opportunity that allows you to profit off of your creativity. So what do you have to lose? Download the app and start a vintage shop today!

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