Retro Revival

Retro+Revival

Catherine Chan, Staff Writer

When sophomore Erin Li first opened Depop, she instantly became intrigued by the vibrant colors, prints, faded denim fabrics and ‘80s patterns she discovered. Pages after pages, she explored an evident trend that has resurfaced on the popular retailer app. 

As Erin attempted to navigate through the myriad of the overpriced accounts, dupe items, and “ios” posts, she ultimately found the real treasures hidden within the rather niche profiles on the app. Erin became a seller on Depop in the summer and is one of the many AHS students that have taken a liking in the opportunity Depop provides for online retailing. Depop allows many young adults to indulge in the world of business and the means of running a business.

Erin shared that she “feels like Depop is a good platform to buy [and, or] sell used clothes as well as handmade items or accessories.” She went on to explain that “especially now, it’s a good way to buy new clothes online, especially during these unprecedented times of the pandemic and encourages people to be environmentally conscious of reusing clothes instead of supporting fast fashion.” 

Being impassioned on the topic of not supporting fast fashion, Erin further elaborated that “sometimes when people don’t wear an item of clothing anymore they list it on Depop, and it could be what the buyer had been planning to buy from an independent brand, but by buying from Depop, they reduce the resources used to make that piece of clothing and can get it at a better price.”

As stated by FOX Business, Depop spokesperson Rebecca Levy revealed to the public that 90% of Depop’s over 15 million users, globally, are under the age of 26. Erin believes that the accessibility and affordability of online thrift shopping accounted in popularizing the vintage fashion culture among younger generations. Shoppers are now able to easily buy and sell second-hand vintage items they’ve grown out of or no longer want to wear. Depop ultimately became a creative outlet to raise money by selling their clothes to its users who are primarily teenagers or young adults. Simultaneously, buyers are able to collect new pieces to add to their closets.

Sophomore Shannon Cheng is one of the many students who initiated their entrepreneurial experience as she began her sale of handmade earrings on Depop. Shannon said that she “started making earrings in the summer for the fun of it and got the idea to try selling it on Depop.” She described the process, overall, as a “learning experience as [she] learned how to manage money and handle issues with customers in a more professional setting. Selling on Depop was also an easy experience as people can discover your goods easily and a great way to make a bit of money on the side.” 

Another sophomore, Gwyneth Ngo, sells many of her clothes on her Depop account. Gwyneth sold over 30 items, accumulating over a thousand dollars in sales. Though she struggled at first, being an alien to conducting business transactions, Gwyneth said that she learned how to successfully sell her clothes by being helpful and fair to her customers. 

Gwyneth said, “When I first started Depop, I was a bit nervous to ship items to other people because I wanted everything to be perfect. In fact, the first sale that I made had some technical problems but thankfully the buyer was super nice and cooperative.” She also shared that she “started Depop because [she] saw an excess of clothes in [her] closet that [she] no longer wore or had use for. By selling [them], [she] hoped that someone else would love the clothes that [she] no longer had use for.” 

Additionally, Gwyneth also wanted “to make some money to purchase some clothes on [her] own. Right now, [she] has been getting frequent sales but since school started, [she] stopped posting as often.”

Despite the app’s success, controversy prevails around how environmentally and economically ethical Depop is. Certain accounts purchase clothes at thrift stores, such as Goodwill, for low prices and raise them on Depop in order to raise profit. 

According to the Student Environment Resource Center at the University of California, Berkeley, thrifting items and buying on Depop are more sustainable ways of shopping. The study showed that nine out of ten Generation Z individuals believe companies are accountable for addressing environmental issues, causing the adulation of thrift shopping to rise. The findings also indicated that though not all people intentionally help the environment by wearing second-hand garments, the affordable prices of thrift stores have contributed to the increase in vintage fashion.

A long time thrifter, sophomore Nathalie Chiu, highlighted her insights and predictions of vintage fashion going into the future. She reasoned that “every new trend is inspired moments of the past that feel new to those who experience them. What is current today as the fashion trend will feel vintage tomorrow. One day in the future, high school students will be endorsing styles that feel strangely reminiscent of what we are wearing today.”

 

Photo courtesy of PINTEREST.COM