Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Share the thrift flips

Sunday, October 18, 2020
Graphic by Nicolette Baker

Macklemoreís early 2010s song ďThrift ShopĒ erased stigmatization of secondhand clothing that spanned a generation, prompting the growth of Gen-Z-run online resale shops. In this essay I will ó

Just kidding. But today weíll be dissecting the social implications of Depop thrifting resale, so buckle up!

First, a breakdown of vocab. Depop is an online resale shop, often run by women in their teens or early 20s. The users running these accounts often scour thrift shops for unique, attractive pieces to later sell at a higher price online. Niceeee, we love female-run entrepreneurial pursuits! Girl power.

In the past few years, thrift shopping has experienced a boom among mid- to higher-income circles. Itís something that def contrasts previous social norms, and this is where it gets uncomfy. For reference, this isnít my original idea ó itís something thatís been discussed online in fashion communities recently.

People still rely on second hand stores as their main source of clothing, and Depop sellers are affecting their ability to access these threads. Thrift stores foster a haven of diverse clothing for low prices, and for many people, it isnít just a trend.

Depop sellers are educated ó definitely an advantage in the business! They know which items are in demand and which brands are selling fast. A lack of brand awareness is one of the reasons some items are priced so cheaply by management at resale shops. Some resale shops have recognized the thrifting trend, and itís been discussed online that many have shifted their prices upward to accommodate it.

By buying tons and tons of those trendy items at Goodwills, Depop sellers are taking the majority of quality items and driving up prices. Which is well within the Depop sellerís rights as a consumer, but shouldnít they share the fashion finds? Absolutely nothing compares to the adrenaline rush of finding a designer item on a secondhand rack for a few dollars. And for those who rely on secondhand stores and cannot afford to buy full-priced items, itís even worse.

Please donít snatch up cute thrifted clothes in bulk to sell online. Thatís being tricked by a business, as Macklemore would say. Thereís nothing wrong with a little Depop shopping spree ó secondhand clothing is very good for the environment ó but donít take it too far, sellers.

My personal theory is that the quirky, often annoying earworm was played so frequently during our formative years that it actually normalized secondhand clothing for Gen Z, building a foundation for the recent thrifting trend. Thatís just my take, though ó let me know if Iím wrong! As always, you can find me at @nbakerARROW.