Students Sell Clothes Online, Share Thoughts

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“I wasn’t motivated to sell clothes to combat fast fashion as I didn’t know too much about it. but I now have learned A lot more about the detrimental effects from it, and am now much more aware of it. And it’s just one more reason to buy and sell used clothes.” – Reina Ackerberg ’22

According to an article from JSTOR, Daily, Americans dispose of about 12.8 million tons of textiles annually, 80 pounds per person, primarily due to the emergence of the cheap, disposable clothing called “fast fashion.” Sustainable shopping, however, has recently developed from charity thrift stores into the digital age.

The digital side of secondhand shopping became extremely prominent for many reasons having to do with COVID-19. During the pandemic,  most remained in their homes and had more disposable time to dispose of their old clothing, leading to a heightened use of online shopping platforms that sell used clothing. During pandemic times, online shopping makes buying and selling used clothing more convenient and safe.

Reina Ackerberg ’22 is a prime example of this. She started to sell her clothes on Depop, a platform that is used to sell previously worn clothes, because, “I was getting rid of a bunch of clothes, and realized that some of them were actually nice pieces of clothing that I could get money for rather than just giving to Goodwill.”

Making profit is another motivating factor for those who buy and sell on Depop. Carly Shoemate ’22 notes that “I decided to start selling clothes online because I thought I could make some money off of clothes I didn’t wear anymore.” Hanna Jessop ’22 had some of the same ideas in mind, “I decided to start selling my clothes on Depop because I’ve always donated clothes I didn’t want anymore and I thought it would be nice to make some money off of clothes I thought I could resell instead of just donate.”

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BUYING AND SELLING USED CLOTHING IS A GROWING PHENOMENON THAT WILL HOPEFULLY CONTINUE TO FLOURISH, AND WITH IT WILL GROW THE POSITIVE IMPACT THAT IT HAS ON OUR ENVIRONMENT.”

— O'Neill Tierney

Now, the environment is not the sole reason why people tend to purchase and sell used clothes; however, it does tend to make people more aware of the environmental catastrophe that fast fashion and simply retail as a whole is causing. Hopefully, greater awareness about the abundance of clothes that are in online and in person thrift stores will  ameliorate this growing issue, by encouraging shoppers to consider buying second-hand items.     

“Overall I thought Depop was a great way to get quick cash while being environmentally friendly. I think donating clothes is also really important. I think Depop can sometimes be toxic to donations as lots of people try to be cheap stuff from thrift stores and resell them, which goes against the whole idea of donating in the first place.” – Hanna Jessop ’22

Shoemate comments that “More recently though I’ve started being more conscious of sustainable shopping but I would say it wasn’t a part of my motivation to start using Depop.” Buying and selling used clothing is a growing phenomenon that will hopefully continue to flourish, increasing the positive impact that second hand clothing has on our environment.