Thrift has become a popular way to shop for clothes, primarily among young people, but also among other generations. It’s cheap and good for the environment, so self-saving is great. With its growing popularity, independent resale websites such as Depop, Poshmark and others are thriving because they are used to resell vintage clothing, often at higher prices. Although this looks comfortable and a good side hustle, it is immoral and contributes to the decency of fashion.
Transitional clothing has become popular among Generation Z for a variety of reasons. For one, it allows young people to express unique clothing items that have never been seen before. This allows them to post these clothes on social networks, embracing creative and vintage looks. Economy is also sustainable, because it reduces consumption, limits waste and contributes to reducing chemical pollution. Additionally, it provides affordable clothing for struggling people and communities and has a positive impact on our financial security. These advantages contrast with the disadvantages and reality of reselling clothes.
While Depop has a sustainability plan, the plan states that they want to offset their shipping emissions by implementing 100% renewable offices. The plan also acknowledges that Depop is aware of the high emissions of shipping, but fails to mention that it has enough consumer data to achieve this goal through its renewable offices. If Depop can’t achieve this, it’s greenwashing its customers into thinking it’s a sustainable platform.
Additionally, selling off-the-shelf clothing at high prices takes the place of affordable retail for low-income communities where savings are important. Many people donate their goods to help those in need, not to buy and resell. It’s also important to note that thrift goes beyond buying clothes, as it’s common to splurge on furniture and furnishings. Low-income communities rely on these essentials as well, and taking it away is unethical and greedy.
The narrative around sites like Depop and Poshmark is that it limits the concept of fast fashion and excess. However, in this booming thrift and resale market, overconsumption is still an issue, as the secondary market is expected to grow from $30 billion to $77 billion by 2025, selling for profit is simply becoming another fad as demand increases. Keep adding items to the store, just by increasing the price.
Between raising prices on affordable items and clothing and greenwashing society on sustainable practices, sites like Depop are promoting decency in fashion. The secondary market can’t expect fast fashion and other mainstream fashion industries to be responsible for sustainability and accessibility if they can’t do better. Sellers on Depop and other sites need to know this and realize how their actions are unethical and can hurt others. There are many other side hustles that these individuals can do to make money that they don’t hurt and that harming low income communities needs to stop.
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Luke Lawson (he/him) is a sophomore who plans to major in accounting. He enjoys discussing political issues, going for walks and watching movies.
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