Glad Rags to Green Riches – Meet the Teens Making Mega-Money from Unwanted Clothes by Grace Brookes Tiffin School

One thing Millennials and Generation Z has got right is finding the potential of buying and selling second-hand clothing on dedicated platforms – notably Depop celebrating its 10th birthday in the coming year – often making some serious dough.

The sale of second-hand items has grown exponentially in recent years, thanks above all to dedicated youth-centred websites, with 54% of Depop’s 21 million users being aged 14-24. The app is a mobile marketplace which allows individuals to buy and sell their items on iOS and android devices. The former CEO, Runar Reistrup, placed the accountability of the apps growth down to awareness spread by ‘word of mouth’.

I became familiar with apps of these sorts in 2018 when I was 14 years old, and now, at 17, am a regular user for both selling clothes that I no-longer care for and purchasing the majority of the clothes I wear due to the quality and affordability of the clothing and ease of use of the platforms.

The success to the app’s popularity has been attributed to giving the users the ability to revamp their style and give them their fashion fix while being both ethically and environmentally sustainable and retaining a clear conscience. Another attraction is the potential to break the constraints of the high street shops, finding unique items and developing an individual style.

The creation of the circular economy created by the commerce of pre-used clothing especially by a young demographic hasn’t only helped the pockets of the entrepreneurial youngsters to grow richer but has also marked a turning point on the way we will shop in the future as we strive towards creating a greener economy.

Global emissions from textile production generates equivalent to 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 every year, a figure that outweighs the carbon footprint of international flights and shipping combined. Therefore, the uprise in second-hand clothing can be nothing but good for the environment, even if it was just an unintended consequence.

Whether utilized for the discounted prices or as a bandage for environmental guilt, the taking of fashion away from the catwalks and the faceless exteriors of corporate enterprises and into each other’s homes has created a community of its own with Depop hauls on TikTok, dedicated meme pages and an individual experiences with each and every seller.

Read More