Depop: The App Turning Fashion Lovers into Business Moguls

Depop, an app dedicated to individuals being able to post, sell and resell clothing items, has grown so much in popularity that it now provides its users the ability to earn a substantial income all from their own homes. 

Depop was created in 2011 by Simon Beckerman and was originally based solely in London, although today it has additional offices in Milan, Manchester and New York. 

According to Depop’s website, the app started as a social media destination to purchase the clothing featured in PIG Magazine, of which Beckerman was the co-founder. However, the app soon evolved as a “broader social marketplace” separate from the magazine where users had the freedom to share what they were wearing, buying and selling. 

The app is usually explained to outsiders as a way to “thrift online” with the clothing purchased almost always being second-hand or handmade. Along with sellers plucking their old Forever 21 favorites out of their own closet to re-sell on Depop, many have discovered the great monetary value of re-selling vintage or designer clothing pieces through the app. 

“Depop mirrors the spectrum of styles appealing to the diverse members of Generation Z and recognizes their preference for smartphones and social media to buy and sell apparel online,” said Professor Brendan G. Rafferty, retailing professor at Sacred Heart. “The preloved and vintage clothing components align with the generational shift away from the waste of fast fashion towards more sustainable clothing.” 

University of Huston student Olivia Haroutounian, was recently covered in an article by Vogue Magazine because of her entrepreneurial success on Depop. At only 22 years-old, she has managed to grow her online store so large, approximately 26,000 followers, to where her earnings are now paying for her degree. 

Haroutounian’s passion for acquiring vintage clothing started when she was young, thanks to the help of her mother who was a vintage clothing dealer. It was only in her teens when she started to sell her collection on Depop for a profit. 

In her interview with Vogue Magazine, Haroutounian said, “I kind of fell in love with clothes there. There were ’70s clothes, like platforms and all of these really rare T-shirts. Everything was a quarter, and ever since then I’ve been super into collecting.” 

Another 20 year-old seller Caitlin Young, based in the UK, pays for her lifestyle and education through her Depop sales. She, along with being a full time student, sells up to £2,000/$2,452.38 worth of vintage clothing a month through the app. 

In an interview with The Guardian, Young said, “People in my family say, ‘You sell used shoes?’ They are so disgusted, but everyone I know buys vintage. It’s what people do now. It pays for my life.” 

Depop has recently been reported as a new force in the “bedroom entrepreneurs” movement. According to TechCrunch, the phenomenon was spawned with the rise of social media popularity, and revolves around one using their own personality, interests and image as a brand and growing their business from there. 

In an interview with TechCrunch, Depop CEO Maria Raga said, “Our mission is to redefine the fashion industry in the same way that Spotify did with music, or Airbnb did with travel accommodation. Depop’s top sellers are known to clear $100,000 annually. It’s a real business for them.” 

“It’s a great example of how e-commerce is more than just the online giants like Amazon and Wayfair, and individuals can be a disruptive force and add value in our economy in a way prior generations didn’t imagine was possible,” said Dr. Michael Gorman, finance professor at Sacred Heart University. 

Along with the selling and purchasing of clothing, Depop has provided a space for entrepreneurs to sell accessories of their own creation. It is common to find handmade or self-designed phone-cases, hats, earrings, purses and more on the app. 

“Depop is empowering everyday Gen Y & Z users to be on a level playing field with large apparel companies and to build their own unique presence that resonates with their peers on a deeper and authentic level through social consciousness,” said Dr. Dave Loranger, fashion merchandising and marketing professor at Sacred Heart. 

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