The rise of the fashion app

Emily Higgins questions whether the rise of the fashion app is the demise of second-hand vintage shops

22nd February 2016

There's nothing in a fashion lover’s world that is more exciting than striking gold in a vintage shop. The novelty of finding something unique with a bit of history is so exciting, and secretly gives you an ego boost when your friends ask you where you found your items, knowing that they will not be able to get one in a high street shop. When you find a gold mine of a charity shop, you get new clothes and you're making a donation - bonus!
The best way to make the extra pennies to buy these vintage goodies is through selling your own old clothes, your trash becomes someone else's treasure.

Apps like Depop, ASOS Marketplace and Alexa Chung's Villoid are making this cycle so much easier, by hosting all the buying and selling fun directly from your phone. These apps open up a whole world of second hand loveliness and broaden your horizons further than your local high-street, giving you so much more to explore.

Fashion apps are also a brilliant way of giving small clothing brands recognition, while not impacting their profit too heavily as many of these apps only take a small commission (much less than if they were to be put in a store.) As much as high street brands are fun, supporting little labels and independent lines is a brilliant way of broadening your wardrobe and benefitting small businesses.

You don't have to be a wannabe fashion buyer to enjoy these apps either, as they link directly to your phone camera meaning photos can be uploaded in minutes, making the buy and sell process even easier.
Linking the apps with online payment apps like PayPal is super simple too, meaning you don't even need your card with you to buy a new wardrobe edition and with an endless supply of clothing, accessories and homeware you'll be sure to find even the most obscure of items with enough searching. Bye bye student loan.

Even the most tech savvy granny probably won't be uploading their favourite piece of knitwear to a depop account.

As fun as all of this sounds, these 'flea-market' apps have been criticised for a few reasons. Mostly because they remove the real fun of buying second hand clothing; rooting through reams of random questionable shirts, ugly trousers and jumpers with unusual stains until you find something exciting. Also, many sellers don't allow returns so you're really taking a gamble when pressing that "confirm purchase" button, whereas in a shop you can at least try on and see the item for yourself. They also discourage going to charity shops to find your second hand clothes, which means that charities are missing out on potentially vital donations.'Granny chic' is always recreated by the most popular high street brands, but nothing is better than the real thing. Any of the genuine old lady garms found on these apps have probably already been bought and resold, meaning that you’re paying a premium for something which you could get for a quarter of the price in your local Oxfam. Even the most tech savvy granny probably won't be uploading their favourite piece of knitwear to a depop account.

In saying that, although these apps might take away the fun of true vintage shopping, they do give you an endless supply of second hand gems to access quickly and easily, and make selling your own clothes an absolute doddle.

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