In the last few years Depop has become one of the largest online platforms to sell and buy secondhand and vintage clothing and amongst the top sellers on the App is Jinkies. Emily is the 23 year old fashion loving force behind the shop and the person who sources, styles and photographs every piece of clothing she sells. I wanted to find out how Emily went from buying clothes in charity shops to becoming a go to seller of 90s and y2k vintage on Depop and obviously her advice on how we too can find our own preloved bargains...
What made you decide to set up Jinkies?
"My decision to set up Jinkies happened organically around 4 years ago. Before then I had never thought about running my own business. At the age of 17 I was a frequent charity shop buyer and had collected way too many clothes over the years. When I couldn’t fit them all into my wardrobe anymore I decided to look around for places I could sell the things I didn’t wear. I of course already knew about eBay but I wondered if there were other options and found Depop on the App Store. I set up a little shop at 17 to sell my old clothes and ended up making a profit on most items. As it was going so well I started thinking about doing Depop full time. At 19 I made a fresh account, created a brand name, invested in stock and studio lighting with the profit I had already made and worked everyday on creating my shop and building a following."
Where does you love of secondhand/vintage stem from?
"My love of secondhand began when I was around 15. I always wanted new clothes, as most teens do but didn’t have the budget. I happened to walk past a charity shop one day and decided to pop in. I came out with lots of new items all under £3 each. I was so excited! Charity shopping and Depop also introduced me to vintage, I started discovering unique items with brands I’d never heard of and thought they were so amazing. I researched online and became obsessed with 90s fashion in particular and started buying mostly vintage pieces. Now that I’m older, sustainability is one of the main reasons I buy secondhand. After developing my knowledge of fast fashion practices and the harm it causes to not only the planet but the poor workers making these clothes I had even more reason to stick with what I was doing and it made it even more fun knowing I wasn’t contributing to all that."
What advice would you give to someone who is new to vintage/secondhand shopping?
"My advice would be if searching in a charity shop look through every single rail, every hanger and even on the floor sometimes. I’ve found cool pieces from the menswear section and children’s wear so don’t skip them! If looking online, know your body measurements so you can ask sellers for measurements to compare. It’s so important and means you won’t waste money on items that don’t fit. My last bit of advice is more of a reminder, you don’t need to be a super indie and quirky dresser to shop secondhand. It could simply be buying a shirt you saw at Topshop on Depop a month later for a lot less money so you aren’t directly contributing your money to the company and you’re reusing an item that would go to landfill otherwise. You can wear any style of clothing you want to and be more sustainable in some way. But if you are the kind of person that loves fashion and standing out buying vintage is the best way to do this because most likely you won’t meet someone wearing the same piece as you."
How do you go about styling vintage pieces for your Depop?
"When styling items for my Depop I like to keep things simple and quite consistent so my brand is recognisable on Depop. I have a selection of pieces from my own wardrobe that I rotate all the time such as two pairs of vintage Levi jeans, some staple black trousers, various crop tops and shoes. I mix them all with different outfits which saves time and means I can take even more photos."
What do you look for when you source for your shop?
"Firstly I look at the tags, vintage tags are so cute! They also give you a better idea of when the item was made. I have specific brands such as Pilot, Morgan de Toi and Topshop along with many others that I always look out for. I try to buy items based on the seasons and have worked out over the years what kind of pieces sells best on my shop and keep that in mind while sourcing."
What inspires you creatively?
"Depop sellers are my number one inspiration, there are so many creative people on the app it’s hard not to be inspired. @fionashort was one of the first sellers I found on the app and I loved how she photographed her pieces. @IdentityParty is another amazing shop that I’ve followed for years and I love every item she posts. A newer fave is @boggergoth who has those most wanted 90s and y2k items."
Why do you think Depop is good platform for selling secondhand clothing?
"Depop is a great place to sell because it’s so easy to use. It’s formatted in a similar style to Instagram which most people already understand so it takes no time at all to list your items. The fees are very reasonable, you only pay if you sell and there’s such a community on the app, especially if you become a top seller and become part of a forum where you can chat with other top sellers and share advice."
Why is secondhand sustainable clothing important to you?
"Secondhand sustainable clothing is important to me because an estimated £140 million worth (around 350,000 tonnes) of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year. That’s crazy! Workers aren’t even paid a living wage, they are struggling to survive and have to work in awful dangerous conditions that can in many cases lead to death. Children are not even safe as many high street brands use child labour to make their items. These are just a couple of reasons I decided to stop supporting fast fashion as much as possible and why it’s important to me."
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to set up their own online shop?
"My advice would be to start on a platform such as Depop because it’s free to list and has millions of users around the world already using the app. Spend what money you can on stock and reinvest it in your shop. Posting consistently on the app is the main thing that helped my shop grow. It took me 3 years to become a Top seller and 4 years to build up a following of 44k on the app so consistency is key. Make sure your photos are clear, well lit and try to style your items so people have an idea how they could wear each piece."
What plans do you have in store next for Jinkies Collection?
"Very very soon I will be moving into a studio space which I’m very excited about. I’ve been using a small spare room to photograph, store and wrap items for 6 years where I had to work on the floor because I couldn’t fit a desk in so I can’t wait to have more space and an actual desk to sit at."
Follow Jinkies on Instagram - @shopjinkies
And check out their Depop shop - https://www.depop.com/jinkiescollection/
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