One of the biggest challenges for me when I went slow fashion was finding ways to look cute while doing less harm. It’s tough! And while my morals will always come first from here on out with what I put on my body, it’s nice to wear nice things.
Depop is an incredible resource that I talk more about in this post, but the basic idea is that it's an online secondhand and vintage marketplace. Anyone can sell or buy items, which are usually clothing, but sometimes also include accessories or even homeware. I love it so much that it’s honestly becoming a bit of an addiction. Scrolling through while eating a bowl of cereal...never knowing what cute treasure you’re gonna stumble across in your travels...well, it’s like thrifting but online. And more curated. And with CEREAL.
(ALSO I don't know where the best place is to have this plug but...if you wanna follow me on Depop... my handle is @aspeniris. <3)
But while there are tons of great finds available, it can be a bit difficult to locate them! It’s actually a bit discouraging if you don’t have the proper tools to shop on Depop. It’s important to know that even if you don’t have a super artsy, vintage, retro, or alternative sense of style, Depop is still awesome for you. There is, I think, sort of a reputation surrounding thrifting and vintage shopping that there's a distinct alternative style or aesthetic associated with it, but I don't think this is true! You can find things in any style. You really, really just have to know where and how to look in order to find what it is that you desire. Here are a few tips that’ll help you save the hassle when you inevitably sign up for Depop and fall in love just the same as I have.
#1: Use Different Search Terms
This is a tip that I originally found in a post by British Mermaid on the same topic I’m currently writing about. Essentially, if you’re looking for a pair of combat boots and running out of luck, you might consider trying search terms other than “combat boots,” such as “lace-up boots” or “brown boots.” It seems like something really simple but it’s actually so powerful. Allow me to demonstrate with a real-life ETHIGIRL success story!
Once upon a time, your girl Aspen was on a mad hunt for a midi-length linen button-up dress. And if you’ve looked for this item before, you KNOW how expensive linen is (which is not to say that it isn't worth it)
! If I’d had the money to drop on one from a local slow fashion brand I totally would have, but I didn’t...so I decided to take a little gander on Depop and see what I could find. Armed with a determined scrolling thumb and an eye for the ultimate picnic gal aesthetic, I hunted!
Aaaand after one quick search of “linen dress”, I fell short. Nothing that I wanted. But this is only when the story gets interesting! This is when noble Aspen persevered. I then decided to try other search terms, like “button up dress” and “midi dress.” Still no dice. Until...finally, FINALLY! I stumbled upon “seersucker dress.” I hadn’t considered that something like seersucker might be a close alternative for the linen I so desired.That’s when I found it: I found the dress. Heart eyes emojis galore. I hurried to order it and I have gotten so many compliments on it since it arrived. The science of this is that Depop is run by its users, which means not everyone looks at a piece and calls it the same thing. Every clothing piece on the site is unique! And even though I didn’t end up with an actual linen dress, the final product looked exactly like what I wanted.
#2: Build A Strong Feed
It’s important on Depop to follow people, seriously. At the beginning, you’ll have nothing - the only place you’ll know where to go to look at items is in the little Discover page, which is cool to look at sometimes but not often what you need or want. So, spend some time at the beginning of your Depop journey finding accounts to follow and then following their friends. That’ll make it so much easier and better in the future to find things that are your style. The way you find accounts that you want to follow is by searching not only for items you want, but items you already have and love. Then you’ll find people who are selling items like these and you know then that their shop will have things you’ll want to buy now and in the future.
#3: Don’t Sleep on the Saved Section
The way to continue building that feed I have stated is so important is by going onto the shops of people you already enjoy following and taking a peek at their saved section. Here, you’ll see all of the items they have their eye on and, thus, be able to look at those peoples’ shops if you like them too. It’s like a great minds think alike sort of deal.
#4: Know What You Want Going In
This is an easy tip but, before you get a strong feed (and even when you do) you’ll have a hard time finding the item you want to find unless you go looking for it. Eventually you’ll browse aimlessly and that item’ll come to you, but at first you gotta head in with a goal in mind.
#5: Check Internationally
Remember that beautiful picnic dress I was going on about before? That baby didn’t come from Canada, it was shipped from the states. Little plug by the way, I bought it from the kindest sellers Annie and Logan (@7gemini), who are proud to run a genderless, LGBTQI-owned vintage shop. Anyway, since not everyone is as nice as them and won’t agree to ship internationally, and because international shipping can get very expensive, Depop prioritizes domestic items. They will always be shown first (at least that is what it’s like for me on the app). But if you have a dream item, check out the international selection!! It’ll be right below what Depop gives you for domestic items.
#6: The More You Look, The Easier It Gets
I guess this is what I’ve basically been saying the whole time, but once you’ve got your feed going, you’ll really be on your way to finding lots of cool items. Depop gets really good when you don’t go looking for items, but instead, they come to you. Not to mention, the more you use Depop, the more familiar you’ll become with the way it works and you’ll start to develop your own techniques for shopping on it. And I promise, once you do, you’ll never go back!
Needless to say, I am a huge fan of this secondhand platform. The items you can find on Depop are almost always amazing, and the community aspect of it is so cool. Sellers are generally quite responsive (depending on how committed they are to running their shop) and friendly. They will even barter with you some on item prices to try and come up with something that works for you. I sincerely recommend that you try out Depop and, as always, if you have any questions or want to talk more about these tips, feel free to comment below.
With love and sustainability,