Lockdown silver lining for second-hand clothing sellers


By Sarah Tran

Lockdown restrictions prompted op shops and individuals wanting to get rid of clothing to adapt in ways that worked in their favour.

And these Covid-inspired methods of selling are something they see as a future direction.

For Brisbane model Lily Blucher, Covid-19 led her to create her own business “The Common Dandy Club” store on Depop – a popular online selling platform.

It’s a new source of income for her after she lost her job.

“I decided to get into vintage and second hand and look out for pieces that I think people might appreciate, so I went out shopping every now and again, just got a few items that I liked, then would restyle them and list them online,” Ms Blucher said.

Lily takes photos, writes descriptions, and prices her items through the Depop app; it's a business she runs by herself from home.

Lily takes photos, writes descriptions, and prices her items through the Depop app; it’s a business she runs by herself from home. Credit: Sarah Tran

Six months since the beginning of lockdown, she’s gained 3600 followers and made more than 200 sales.

Ms Blucher says while work for her is slowly returning, she hopes to continue growing her business even after Covid.

“I think if I was to have it as a long term business, I would probably surprise myself even more with how much I could have an income from it.”

For Brisbane thrift shop Yesterdays, lockdown meant few in-store customers, which led their team to start their e-commerce site.

Endorsement for Yesterdays online store and social media platforms outside of their shop in Rosalie.

Endorsement for Yesterdays’ online store and social media platforms outside of their shop in Rosalie, Brisbane. Credit: Sarah Tran

Senior trainer at Yesterdays, Danila Franz, said the online shop is now something they are investing in as it introduced new customers across Australia, increasing the store’s sales by 15 per cent.

“[Our team] set up a mannequin against a blank wall, got good lighting, started taking photos…and [it involved] hours on your mobile phone,” Ms Franz said.

Their online shop’s popularity allowed Yesterdays to expand their teams across Brisbane; contrary to many local businesses who had to cut staff, according to Ms Franz.

The online second-hand fashion market is projected to grow a whopping 69 per cent by 2021.

The rise in popularity of shopping second-hand is part of a conscious effort from some consumers to stop supporting fast fashion, as many studies claim the industry exploits cheap labour, and its manufacturing processes are harmful to the environment.

Ms Blucher says, more and more people are seeing that second-hand clothes are worth a second chance.