Fashion Features Sustainability

Selling at Sunset Cliffs: PLNU Students’ Online Clothing Shops

Screenshot from @eve_goes_thrifitng on Instagram.

To make some extra cash and room in their closets, a handful of students at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) started Instagram, Depop and other fashion marketplace app accounts to rehome previously worn clothing items.

Eva Roche, first-year health and human performance major, and Taylor Roberts, sophomore software engineering major, shared their experience on selling clothes to fellow students and clothing marketplace applications.

The Point: What made you want to sell your clothes on these platforms? Why did you choose one over the other?

Eva Roche: I chose Instagram because of the community aspect of it. I am able to post stories that remind, encourage and engage my friends who follow me. Also, everyone is on Instagram, so it seemed to be my best bet if I wanted to gain a following. I do not have much experience on those other apps, I think they are overpriced and often tricky to use.

Taylor Roberts: I started selling clothes on Depop because I started collecting a lot of clothes, either not in my size but cute, or just I was not wearing enough. I go to the swap meet and thrift store a lot and to be able to fund my own purchases, I like to sell things I find so I’m not really breaking the bank. I have tried selling on Instagram but I find I like Depop better because I can reach a wider audience and Depop makes shipping easier. It’s easier for users to find their exact size or target price range etc. as opposed to on Instagram.

TP: Is there an environmental tie to why you sell your clothes to students rather than throw them away/donate them?

ER: Yes, I have been trying to not buy anything from big companies for the past three years because of my passion for halting fast fashion. By giving these clothes new life and not throwing them away, I can be sure they are being worn and not filling up space in a landfill or floating down a river somewhere.

TR: There’s definitely an environmental tie. I stopped buying from fast fashion brands a long time ago. I think by selling these second-hand clothes and buying them second-hand I am helping to decrease the number of clothes bought unethically. 

TP: What has it been like selling clothes to students and strangers? What has been fun or not so fun about doing so?

ER: It has been such a rad, creative experience. It is so fun to take pictures with friends, get people excited and see Loma students wearing the clothes around campus. Something that is not so fun is the amount of work that goes into the searching, advertising, selling and shipping of the clothes all by myself, but I wouldn’t change it even if I could.

TR: I have so much fun selling on Depop. I love the hunt of finding cute second-hand clothes. It’s a lot of effort keeping up a Depop shop, posting pictures, writing captions, buying clothes, shipping them off, but I find it all worth it if someone finds joy in a piece of clothing they bought from me. Right now, I am not making a ton of money doing this, but just enough so I don’t have to get an ordinary job which is pretty nice.

TP: What have you done to get your clothing account out in the public eye?

ER: Many of my friends are kind enough to repost my photos on their accounts, but I think a lot of it is just word of mouth and talking to people about it. I also was a seller at the Flex Farmers Market last November and have been featured on the Point Loma Center for Justice and Reconciliation Roots of Giving website!

TR: I think the more you post on Depop, the more people see your account, so I try to post as many clothes as I can, and frequently. You also have to “bump” your clothes you post quite a bit, kind of like refreshing it to keep it toward the top of the user’s feed, so more people are able to see your account. I recently created a name for my store and a logo which brought a lot more people in. Still trying to find more ways to expand and grow my account.

TP: What is your process of finding clothes to sell?​

ER: I find all of my clothes at thrift stores, swap meets or second hand shops. I tend to gravitate toward unique patterns or textures over anything. I also look for the easy and simple clothes I know people will buy and wear. I never go looking for one specific thing, and I believe this really allows me to take my time and look for things that stand out and catch my eye.

TR: It varies. My favorite place to find vintage clothes is at estate sales — they usually are at a cheap cost and in great condition. I have found a lot of unique pieces from estate sales but they are often a hit or miss. Lots of estate sales are far and also very busy, so to be able to buy anything good you have to get there almost an hour before it starts. I also go to the swap meet, thrift stores, garage sales and also Goodwill outlet stores.

TP: What do you recommend for students who are interested in selling their own clothes to their peers?

ER: My main thing is originality. If you want to sell clothes, don’t force a certain style or theme that isn’t who you truly are. It is so much more life giving when your personality and what you love aligns with your little business.

TR: Go for it! When you post, I recommend taking creative and clear photos and also write descriptions with a lot of detail about the piece of clothing.

You can find Eva Roche’s Instagram @eve_goes_thrifting here and Taylor Roberts’ Depop @MalelaVintage here

By: Katie Morris