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Depop drama: Buying, selling and everything you need to know

I first used Depop about four years ago when I was in college and desperate to make a quick buck. I listed a few things for sale but as my phone camera was pretty terrible, my pics weren’t very enticing and I never made a sale.

I soom deleted the app and didn’t feel very encouraged to use it again.

Fast forward to 2020, Depop is even bigger than ever. During lockdown I began obsessing about tracking down a pair of shoes after I lost one while moving house. I’m wearing them in the pic below.

After searching the shoe online, several Depop links came up. I downloaded the app again and began trawling.

I messaged several people to no avail but finally I found a girl selling them in a size 5 and bought them from her. Unfortunately, they didn’t fit.

The shoes soon went to the charity shop but my curiousity was piqued and I realised Depop was the perfect way to hunt items that I’d previously seen in shops/online or no longer fitted me.

I tracked down the shoes but sadly they were too small.

This behaviour may seem bizarre to people with real hobbies but for me, it’s proved very satisfying.

A friend of mine even found shoes for her wedding on there. She was finding it hard to shop because of lockdown, I asked her what style and size she was after and within a few minutes, I’d pulled up some options on Depop!

So far, I’ve bought a Topshop jumpsuit that I previously borrowed off a friend, a blue suede Topshop skirt that I’d bought in a charity shop but was much too small, a pair of colour block jeans and a really cool Whitney Houston t-shirt.

I was after this blue suede Topshop skirt for years!

I rarely ever buy new clothing nowadays but I still love looking at what’s available in high-street shops.

So, if you’re looking to make your wardrobe more sustainable but aren’t a fan of vintage/charity shops, Depop is a great place to start and save money while you’re at it. Or you can declutter your own wardrobe and make some money while you’re at it.

The best part of Depop is that your cash isn’t going to line the pockets of a big coporation, Depop sellers are primarily young women or independent retailers.

I finally found the skirt!

Buying tips

Don’t restrict your search to just your own country

It’s tempting to limit your search to your own country as most sellers will ask you to pay postage.

But if you are really keen to find an item, tick the worldwide box and see what you can find. I’ve actually bought more items from UK/Northern Ireland sellers than Irish sellers.

Wearing the jumpsuit four years ago

I bought both the jumpsuit and the suede skirt from UK sellers and they arrived quite quickly.

Take your measurements

Most Depop sellers don’t offer refunds so you’ll need to ascertain the fit before you buy. Ask for measurements, take your own measurements (leg length ankle to crotch, widest part of bust and hips and narrowest part of waist).

Rather than relying on the size provided by the seller, I’ve been taking my own measurements for a more accurate fit.

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I bought these jeans – but they did not fit!

I recently bought a size 10 pair of jeans on Depop only to find that they didn’t fit at all. So, when I was buying the suede skirt, I asked the seller to take measurements and checked them against my own and happily it fit.

Ask questions

If you’re thinking of buying something, ask questions first.

I.e. What’s the fit like, do you have more photos, was this taken with a flash (can make colours look different), any faults etc.

Most sellers are very obliging and won’t mind providing you with more information. Be sure to ask about postage, returns policy and delivery time.

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Whitney t-shirt

Check prices between different sellers

If you find several people selling the item you’re after, check what the best price available is and ask each individual seller about postage costs as they may vary,

That way you can be sure you’re getting a good price. It’s also worth assessing the condition of each item however, some may be cheaper due to flaws/condition.

Haggle if possible

Now I’ve never been the best haggler in the world but this is a platform where you can make offers and bargain.

Some sellers will state that they welcome offers and others will not. You can also offer a swap of an item or ask if they can do a bundle deal or free postage. It’s always worth asking but obviously don’t take the piss either or you probably will end up on the Depop drama Insta!

If an item doesn’t work out

If your item is not as described or has undeclared faults, you can ask the seller for a refund. If they won’t help, you can open a dispute with Paypal.

Every transaction made through Paypal ensures your purchase or sale is protected if anything goes wrong.

Make sure to purchase through the Depop buy button rather than a private arrangement as you have more protection this way. Where possible, ask for a tracking number also.

If something just doesn’t fit and you can’t return it, you can always try selling it yourself or donate it.

Upload a pic of what you’re looking for

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, upload a pic and caption it “not for sale”.

State the brand and size and a description of the item you’re after, you never know someone may have it in the back of their wardrobe!

SELLING

Take the best photos you can

Ideally your photos should be of someone wearing the outfit but if that’s not possible, good lighting and clutter-free backgrounds are a must.

Make sure you show the front and rear of the item and take pictures of any flaws. If the colour is not showing up right in the pic, make sure you mention in the listing what the true colour is.

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My Depop profile (my pics leave a lot be desired but I’m working on it)

Be flexible with your pricing

The quality of the item should be reflected in the price so if it’s an item you’ve worn a lot, don’t charge what you paid for it. New items with tags still on can command more as can lightly worn items or secondhand designer items. If you don’t accept offers/swaps, it’s a good idea to mention that.

Use tags

Depop will only allow five hashtags per item, however, you can include more popular keywords that people commonly search for (y2k comes to mind!)

Be truthful

“Such a stunning Y2K top, one of a kind”, grates after you read it for the 50th time. Likewise, don’t list an old Jane Norman cardi as “vintage”, that will only irritate buyers. True vintage clothing should be at least 20/30 years old so don’t lose the run of yourself.

Give as much detail as possible and be patient if your buyer has questions.

Ask for reviews and leave reviews

It’s nice to be nice and getting a good review will increase trust and encourage more people to buy from you. So ask your buyers to leave a review when they’re satisfied and also review them as buyers. It’s a win-win!

Approach potential buyers

If someone likes an item, don’t be shy, drop them a DM and ask if they’re interested in buying. I get these messages all the time and usually I just reply browsing thanks but a friendly message could help close a sale,

When your items aren’t selling

If your items haven’t sold, there are a number of avenues you can explore. You can delete the listing and reupload it with new pics or update the description. You can lower the price or offer a limited discount or offer bundle prices.

You can also share your items on other social media such as Instagram or Facebook, it may catch someone’s eye there.

Above all, don’t be disheartened, it takes time and patience to build a up a Depop profile.

I’m really enjoying using Depop and I’ve found it to be one of my favourite ways to shop now, particularly when shops aren’t open.

Have you used Depop? Leave me a comment below by clicking on the grey speech bubble icon and let me know.

Thanks for reading as always and I hope you found the tips helpful! Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page and of course my Depop @edelh22.

Edel

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How to machine dye old jeans with Dylon

With the shops closed and the majority of us spending most of our time at home, now is a good time to go through your wardrobe.

Perhaps you need to do a purge of things that don’t fit or no longer suit your lifestyle.

Put what you don’t want into a bag for the charity shops as they’ll be in need of donations when they re-open.

Alternatively, you can take your old clothes to a clothes bank if there’s one in your local area or cut up old/stained clothing to make into dusters.

If you have an item you like but you want to breathe new life into it, why not try an upcycle? Fabric paint, dye, embroidery, zips, and studs can all inject new life into an old item.

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I’m going to share one of my favourite upcycling methods and show how machine dye transformed these vintage jeans.

When I first bought these jeans, I really liked the fit of them but I wasn’t crazy about the colour. (I took before pics but for the life of me, I can’t find them!)

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Bored in the house and I’m in the house bored

I was at a Tola Vintage kilo sale when I spotted these Levis 511 jeans. They are a slim fit but not skinny and low rise.

What I liked most about them was how thick and hardwearing the denim is. PS, I spilled water on them in the pic above, hence the weird discolouration!

I wore them a few times but I found it hard to match the weird grey/white colour and so they soon were left in a drawer.

Browsing in Hickeys one day, I saw some navy Dylon dye and I decided it was time to dye the jeans.

The process was really simple. I’d hand-dyed things before which can get messy but this was machine dye so I just had to pop the jeans into the wash with the dye capsule and run a cycle on 30C or 40C.

Then I had to wash them again with detergent on the same cycle and wait for them to dry.

The jeans emerged a gorgeous dark navy with the stitching remaining white. I hadn’t planned this but I really liked the effect.

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Levis 511 dyed jeans

However, the brown Levis patch on the back did dye which I was hoping it wouldn’t.

I don’t know if there’s a way around this but if there is, let me know!

Since I dyed the jeans, I’ve worn them much more frequently and found it easier to match them with outfits. The colour has also remained strong with numerous washes almost two years on.

This dye will remain on anything it stains, some got onto a towel I was using and it is still there to this day! So wear rubber gloves and old clothes and follow instructions carefully!

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Levis tab

The colour of the dye on the box didn’t look that dark but it came out a deep navy blue which was exactly what I wanted. As far as I can remember the shade I picked was called navy blue.

Dylon also have a dye especially for faded jeans which I may use to revive old pairs in the future.

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Levis 511 jeans

It’s important to remember that every fabric is different and dye results will depend on the permeability of the fabric and type of fabric. And some fabrics can’t be dyed, so check before you break open the dye.

The weight of the fabric and the amount of synthetic fibres will affect the final result, synthetic mixes will come out lighter.

From a sustainability point of view, obviously the dye residue will go into the water and there’s a good bit of washing involved but it’s probably still more sustainable than going out and buying a brand new item.

Machine-dying a few items with one capsule is probably the most sustainable way of doing it.

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Stitching on the back pocket

If you want to avoid artificial dyes, you can experiment with natural dyes, such as fruits and vegetables. Check out Moya (Environmental Eadai) on Instagram or Aisling Duffy Designs for natural dye inspiration.

Hope you all enjoyed this upcycling post and let me know if you decide to try machine dyes.

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My dyed Levis 511s

As for what else I’m wearing in the outfit above, it’s all vintage or thrifted except for my sunglasses. My boots were about €22 from a charity shop, shirt was about €6 from a charity shop (both River Island).

The jeans and my leather waiscoat were sold by kilo so I can’t remember what I paid but whole outfit is probably only about €55.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out the competition I’m running on my Instagram and Facebook pages at the moment.

Edel

 

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Sustainability Struggles: Trying to live a less wasteful life

Sustainability and zero waste are woke buzz words these days but I was living in a sustainable manner long before I knew what it meant.

Growing up with parents who were a lot older than me (closer in age to some of my friends’ grandparents) meant we had a “waste not, want not” lifestyle.

I remember carefully washing glass jars and peeling off the labels for recycling, using newspapers to dry up spills and light the stove and of course, wearing hand-me-downs and charity shop clothes.

When I made my Communion, my mother even had her wedding dress made into a dress for me – now that’s economical!

We lived on a farm, drank our own cows’ milk, picked blackberries and crabapples and wrapped our sandwiches in old bread wrappers instead of tinfoil. It might sound grim but it was a very thrifty and sustainable lifestyle.

Now, we were far from perfect, country living means driving pretty much everywhere and of course, we ate meat (apart from my very brief stint as a vegetarian).

There were aspects of my upbringing that I didn’t like, as a teenager I wanted all the latest trends from the chain stores but my mother did buy me new clothes and shoes when I really needed them.

When I left home and lived with other people, I was shocked by how some thought nothing of throwing out food or clothes.

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This one of my many thrifty outfits

I didn’t know how to recycle properly but I tried to recycle as much as I could and also dispose of my old belongings in a responsible way.

Nowadays, most people (myself included) are a lot more informed about living a sustainable life and how our wastefulness is killing the planet.

I get very anxious when I think about the harm caused to the environment by our incessant dumping, polluting and use of toxic substances.

I cringe when I see workmates casually flinging coffee cups and dirty cartons into the recycling bin without a care.

I often hear things like “oh I never thought of that”, when I mention that I’m trying to cut down on using plastic etc. I try not to preach as that just alienates people but I think we all need to be living more sustainably for the greater good.

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My bag, dress and belt are all secondhand

While I don’t see myself having children any time soon (if ever), it does bother me that the next generation will be greatly affected by our actions now.

And it’s not just about people but also animals and plants which don’t willfully damage the earth but still suffer the consequences.

Here are a few simple changes I’ve been making to my life in order to live more sustainably. I don’t see myself becoming a vegan, or giving up driving or travelling completely but I am trying to reduce my carbon footprint.

Minimising plastic waste

When I go grocery shopping, I buy loose fruit and veg as much as possible or in a rigid plastic or cardboard container as that can be recycled. Soft plastics (anything you can scrunch up in your hand) are no longer being recycled in Ireland so I’m trying to cut down on them.

I also always take a shopping bag or rucksack – there’s no need to buy a plastic bag, I’ve approximately 70,000 of them at home.

Another way to cut down on plastic is to bring a lunchbox for meat or fish from a deli counter.

Buying in season/locally produced food

When I’m food shopping, I try to buy as much Irish produce as possible. This can be very hard in supermarkets, for example, Tesco tends to sell fruit and vegetables which have travelled from every corner of the earth.

If you can afford to shop at a butcher, greengrocer or farmer’s market now and again, these are good places to pick up fresh local produce. Obviously, these options aren’t available to everyone, particularly if you live in the countryside or have very little money for food shopping.

Zero waste markets and shops are popping up in several cities now, I found an excellent one in Phibsborough called Noms where you can buy food, household products and beauty products.

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Sustainable and stylish

Using public transport or cycling

Again, this one is tough for those who live in the countryside and is more applicable to city-dwellers.

I used to always drive to work until my car died but now I only drive at the weekends when there are limited trains. As I work shifts, there’s no public transport that would get me to work early enough so I have to take a taxi in but I take the train home.

I also started cycling late last year, something I was very nervous about because cycling in Dublin is no joke but I am a lot more confident now. Dublin Bikes cost only €25 for a yearly subscription, making them much cheaper than public transport.

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The power to change things is in our hands

Separating waste correctly

Yes, it’s a pain in the hole but I’d rather that than a hole in the ozone layer! I now have three bins in my apartment, one large one for recycling paper, rigid plastic and cardboard, a smaller bin for food waste (I use compostable bin liners in this) and an “everything else” bin.

All recycling should be clean and dry so that means washing out cartons and containers and letting them dry. I tend to do this while washing the dishes so it’s just part of the routine.

It took a while to get everyone using the bins correctly and taking three bins out can be laborious but in the long run, it’s not a big deal.

You can find recycling guidelines on Repak’s website.

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Photoshoot in Galway

Switching up your toiletries – soap bars, toothbrushes, tampons

Bars of soap are definitely more awkward than hand soaps and shower gel but they do the same job, and you can use them to shave with and there’s no waste left over.

I store my bar of soap in a plastic box to stop it melting all over the shower.

I haven’t tried toothpaste tabs or shampoo bars yet but these are definitely on my list. I also now use a bamboo toothbrush and the only issue I have is that toothpaste tends to stick to the brush and you have to clean it regularly.

Recently, I bought a Mooncup, hoping that it would be a good investment but I actually haven’t been able to use it, I think I bought the wrong size.

If you can’t use or afford a menstrual cup (they are pricey), you could try using non-applicator or cardboard tampons to minimise plastic waste.

In the long run though, a menstrual cup is much cheaper. Another option is resuable period-proof underwear (yes such a thing exists and is apparently very effective), check out Colette’s review of them here.

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Having a pensive think about our planet’s future

Slow fashion

My number one hobby is fashion so it may seem a bit hypocritical for me to be talking about being sustainable.

Fast fashion is a massive contributor to pollution but there are so many sustainable alternatives such as swap shopping, using the clothes you already have, charity shopping, vintage kilo sales and upcycling.

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Kilo store Amsterdam

Markets are another place to get your sustainable style fix, you can even find designer items here.

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Armani blazer at a market in Amsterdam

I haven’t cut out fast fashion completely but I buy about 60% secondhand and 40% new clothing at the moment.

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Denim dress and thrifted belt

In this post, I’m wearing a vintage denim dress that I bought in Amsterdam, a €1 belt from a charity shop, my DKNY rucksack was €6 from a charity shop, but my runners are from Asos and my earrings are from Penneys.

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My DKNY rucksack was one of my best bargains ever

Another way to shop more sustainably is to buy one high-quality item which will last longer. I got almost three years out of my last pair of Reeboks.

Reusable straws, coffee cups and water bottles

These days, I will always say “no straw” at the bar unless they have paper straws.

Paper straws are annoying when they go soggy but they’re less wasteful and I’m thinking of buying a metal one.

I almost never buy coffee in a disposable cup as I can’t bear the thought of them going in landfill. I do have a reusable cup but I don’t really use it as I usually bring my own coffee to work.

I have a Nespresso machine at home but I find the capsules quite wasteful (though I’ve seen compostable capsules in Noms). I try to use my moka pot more as the grounds can be composted.

If you are a Nespresso fiend, you can get recycling bags from your local store/concession.

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Scowling at people who don’t recycle properly

I drink loads of water but almost never have to buy bottled water as I bring my water bottle everywhere with me.

Recently, our workplace got rid of plastic cups which I think is a great move. I’ve a metal bottle which keeps the water nice and cool.

These are just small changes and I’m aware that I’m very privileged to be able to make these. I live in a city with public transport and lots of shops, I have disposable income and I’m an able-bodied person. I know not everyone has the same opportunities or advantages as me.

I’m not perfect and I still need to improve my own efforts but I hope this post has provided some food for thought.

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My denim dress from Amsterdam

Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts on sustainability.

All photos were taken by Galway-based photographer Sarah Kelly, go check out her Instagram and website, Untamed Moments, she’s an extremely talented lady.

I won a photo shoot with Sarah and I loved having a chat with her about sustainable style and blogging. she was a delight to work with!

Sarah has a degree in Earth and Ocean Science and Zoology and is passionate about protecting our environment. Check out her tips on reducing plastic waste here.

Total outfit cost: €100.20, dress €23.40, belt €1, earrings €3, runners €72.80.

Hope you all enjoyed this post and thanks for reading. Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

 

The Future of the Fashion Industry

This is an article I wrote for The Fair about the future of the fashion industry from a socio-economic perspective.

I also got another writing gig with Music Review Unsigned magazine which I’m more than thrilled about. I interviewed The Depravations, a Galway based band that I accidently became a fan/groupie of and am now their self-appointed publicist. 😉 I’m putting up both articles and their links for you.

With so many successful online stores such as boohoo.com and ASOS.com, the use of social networks by designers to promote their work and rising rents and slow sales on the high street, what will the fashion market be like in 10 years time?

The global recession means the high street fashion industry has slumped considerably due to its high overheads and lack of sales. Many chain stores have cut back, been closed down or had to be rescued from financial difficulties. Disposable fashion is seen as frivolous and wasteful and consumers are looking to get value from their items.

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Stores have tried to compensate with more frequent sales and reductions but to little avail. Meanwhile as the high street flounders the digital market is increasing steadily.

Sites such as boohoo.com and ROMWE.com offer more choice and do not have to deal with the daily expenses of running a store either. Self-employed designers and sellers are using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to showcase their items to a wide audience quickly and with little expense.

The music industry has undergone a collapse and transformation due to the popularity of downloading music and high street chains closing down, will high street fashion be next? It is hard to imagine a world without our favourite clothing stores and obviously clothing can’t be downloaded like music files. But change is coming for the industry.

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New business owners are starting out selling online rather than opening a traditional store. E-tail and e-commerce mean that you don’t need a lot of capital to start up a business.

This means less wealthy people have the same opportunity to start a business and we will see more bespoke items and a greater variety of items available. Naturally the ease of going to a store, trying on an item and having the option to return it easily is still appealing to most customers also.

Ethical demands by customers means businesses are starting to scrutinise their suppliers more and this will hopefully bring positive change to those who work in the factories.

However the slump on the high street could affect workers in a negative way also. The world’s population is expected to increase to 9 billion and our natural resources are dwindling.

Ongoing climate change will also affect crop yields and in turn raw materials available. The fashion industry relies heavily on materials such as cotton and uses huge amounts of water. It is a question of when not if it will be forced to radically change its production methods. Currently researchers are trying to develop ways to “grow” clothing using bacterial cellulose.

If companies want to survive the next ten years, they have to think about supply chains, low-impact production and distribution models, and opportunities to use renewable energy.

The demand for online shops means IT professionals and experts are in demand so the IT sector is experiencing growth and will experience more growth. It is difficult to know what technological advances will be available in future but it seems sensible to consider the rise of the “app” and its usefulness.

Most major clothing companies now have an app for smartphones allowing people to access their content wherever they are. Huge profits by online retailers allow them to offer attractive delivery rates, reductions and keep prices down. Boohoo.com is one such store where most items are reasonably cheap and they have seen an explosion in trade.

We can expect further technological advances that will help us determine a good buy, new types of materials developed to cope with demand and more sustainable methods of production and distribution in the next ten years.

Clothing which is easier to wash and care for is also envisaged as it will require less energy to maintain. The advent of “smart clothing” which serves many purposes is already upon us with companies such as Nike inventing a running shoe with a sensor that tracks your run and sends data to your Ipod.

Clothing that monitors physiological well-being and possibly even brain activity will be available to us in the future. It is only a matter of finding ways to implant the technologies into clothing in a way that doesn’t affect comfort.

Just as we have developed clothing to withstand any type of temperatures and climates, the future suggests we will have clothing that works for us in many ways. Smart clothing will probably sell at a high price initially but should become mainstream in the next ten to fifteen years.

Although there is change ongoing and even more ahead, the fashion industry can adapt to survive. We can look forward to an industry that will hopefully serve us in a more ethically conscious manner and still meet the needs of a changing society. We must remember that our buying choices and demand for certain items or production methods can help shape this future.

 Thanks as always for checking  out the blog!

Edel