By Nicola Craig (She/her)
Recent years have seen widespread disdain for fast fashion and concern for its harmful impact on the environment. The debate around the unethical practices of these major companies is also becoming increasingly prevalent in the mainstream media. In 2020, this was brought to the forefront of public conversation when fast fashion giant Boohoo and its sister brand Pretty Little Thing received intense criticism and scrutiny on social media due to revelations that one of the company’s factories pays its garment workers as little as an abysmal £3.50 an hour.
This has led environmentally conscious fashion lovers like myself on the hunt for more sustainable buying habits, with many looking to the online second-hand marketplace Vinted. Users can download the Vinted app and almost immediately begin buying or selling pre-loved goods without having to pay any seller fees. This is in contrast to rival business Depop, who not only receives 10% of every transaction made on their app, but also retains the shipping costs. As someone who has bought and sold clothing using both apps, Vinted’s shipping methods are a primary reason why I prefer selling through them rather than their main competitor.
To give you a clearer picture, last year I had a skirt on Depop only to find that I had made a loss rather than a profit as I had severely underestimated the shipping costs. However, on Vinted, the shipping costs are all calculated for you, and the seller gets to keep 100% of the profits. The buyer can select which method of delivery they want, leaving the seller with only the simple task of packaging the item and sending it to its new owner. This easy, efficient, and environmentally friendly format is ideal for any student who wishes to make extra money without having to compromise a significant amount of their time.
Buying on Vinted is also far less stressful compared to Depop. Depop has a reputation for being more expensive, with sellers’ penchant for being particularly stubborn about their high prices often being mocked on social media platforms such as Twitter. In my experience, I have found that Vinted breeds much more calm and friendly buyer-seller relationships, with the majority of my interactions with other users on the app being mutually beneficial and pleasant. Subsequently, I have felt safer buying and selling from Vinted as you feel as though you are talking to a real human being rather than a business that is only out to make as much money off of you as possible. Furthermore, Vinted does not allow users to post pictures of a product that they did not directly take themselves, leaving less room to be scammed, further adding to a greater sense of security.
On Vinted, you can find great deals on various different items, from a new Urban Outfitters top that would normally cost a small fortune, to rare vintage pieces from niche brands such as Earl Jeans, a brand often seen on early 2000s TV shows like Gilmore Girls (if it’s good enough for Loralei, it’s good enough for me). With the y2k renaissance dominating TikTok, Vinted is a goldmine for finding key pieces to help achieve the aesthetic.
If you are anything like me, you have fallen for many a pandemic-induced, TikTok-influenced microtrend in the past few years. However, all hope is not lost as Vinted can ensure those baby pink sweater vests and multi-patterned flares will not contribute to fast fashion global carbon emissions. One way to achieve optimum sales is to describe your item using as much detail as possible. How often has it been worn? What kind of condition is it in? Would it be ideal for a very specifically themed pub crawl or Halloween costume? (I’m looking at you several argyle knit cardigans that have not seen the outside of my wardrobe).
Today, the average consumer is purchasing 60% more items of clothing than they did 15 years ago, with items being kept for just half as long. Vinted is not only a great way to make extra cash, but it also allows users to buy and sell clothes without feeling guilty about the increasingly destructive toll hyperconsumerism is taking on the environment.
BBC (2020) Boohoo told to address exploitation claims amid criticism, Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53428405 (Accessed: 17/09/22)
Darmo, J. (2020) 20 Hard Facts and Statistics About Fast Fashion, Available at: https://goodonyou.eco/fast-fashion-facts/ (Accessed: 17/09/22)
Depop Shipping 2021 – The Simple Guide to Depop Shipping your Sales (2021) Available at: https://oneshop.com/blog/depop-seller-fees (Accessed: 17/09/22)
Javed, S. (2022) ‘Love Islander among protestors at Molly-Mae Hague’s Pretty Little Thing event’, The Independent, February 17. Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/molly-mae-hague-love-island-pretty-little-thing-protest-b2017404.html?r=30201 (Accessed: 17/09/22)
UN (2019) UN Alliance For Sustainable Fashion addresses damage of ‘fast fashion’ Available at: (https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/press-release/un-alliance-sustainable-fashion-addresses-damage-fast-fashion) (Accessed: 17/09/22)