Why Shein Haulers Should Opt for Depop Instead
Chances are if you have TikTok you’ve landed across at least one or two haul videos on your For You Page where TikTokers showcase their latest shopping sprees. If you’ve seen a haul video or two, there’s a strong chance you’ve seen one of the infamous #SheinHaul videos. With over 6.9 million videos to the hashtag, many creators on the platform purchase boxes of clothes from Shein well worth over a few hundred dollars and showcase their new finds. Some complain about the quality of the clothing, but many still proclaim their purchases well worth it since they are able to score a multitude of pieces for a cheap price.
These videos have influenced countless TikTok users to purchase from Shein and similar fast fashion stores like Romwe and Zaful. Although the clothing is trendy and cute, the effects mass purchasing has on factory workers and the environment are detrimental.
It is high time to ditch the hauls. But if you need a little more motivation, consider these reasons next time your For You Page hits you with a Shein haul.
The impact overconsumption has on the environment is something people should take into consideration before hitting the buy button on their shopping carts. These haul videos caused a lot of viewers on the app to prefer having countless pieces available to them at all times, favoring quantity over quality. The emergence of microtrends – ever changing fads that appear as quickly as they fade – leads countless consumers to purchase clothes whenever a new one pops up. In fact, some buyers find themselves in a cadence of rapid-fire weekly purchasing, made possible by fast-fashion’s bargain prices and quick trend turnarounds.
The sad reality is that when eager buyers purchase mass amounts of clothing, few are actually worn – certainly not more than a handful of times – and either quickly end up in landfills or are donated to thrift stores. Ninety-two million tons of fast fashion finds its way to landfills every year and, concerningly, these garments take over 200 years to break down. If you think thrifting solves the problem, consider that almost 84% of clothing given to traditional, brick and mortar thrift shops never reaches the shelves to get sold. In fact, these discarded clothes have to be burnt, which emits dangerous toxins into the atmosphere, harming the environment.
Bad Labor Conditions
Shein has been known for the horrendous working conditions of garment workers in its factories. Over the course of 18-hour days, workers labor at a machine-like pace to produce hundreds of garments a day. Additionally, factory conditions exposes to a slew of toxic chemicals.
Eager haul-ers swear by Shein’s low prices, but remember, it is due to the horrible work conditions of mass production that fast fashion giants keep pieces as low as $5-10 per item – not to mention the environmental perils of the mass consumption these brands promote.
That being said, if you’re still looking for a bargain, let’s chat about some affordable alternatives. Namely, the suite of easy, direct-to-consumer platforms online.
Depop, You Should Use It
Secondhand apps like Depop, Poshmark, and Vinted offer variety that is trendy and ethical, allowing users to efficiently re-sell garments.
They come at a low cost: you can filter the price in settings on the app so you only see items within whatever price range you desire. Find something you like but still not satisfied with the offer price? There is also a tool that allows buyers to make an offer and bargain for even better value. Every time I score something on Depop for just $15, it brings a smile to my face.
Shopping secondhand on online platforms will expose you to clothes from all decades (especially vintage), but you can still find newer, trendier pieces if that’s your taste. If the price tag is a bit higher than fast fashion brands, just remember your dollars will not be going to support inhumane working conditions or environmental degradation. Plus, if you opt for more classic pieces, those outlast poorly made fast-fashion clothes and save you money in the long run. The clothes I’ve purchased from secondhand apps years ago are all still going strong today.
Not only is shopping secondhand good for the environment, but the process can invite you to think more about whether or not you truly like a piece. Being exposed to the variety of offerings and stylings on these platforms can help shoppers develop a more personal style. On fast fashion sites, shoppers are instantly hit with all of the biggest microtrends of the time but on secondhand apps, you can do some more digging before you find pieces you like. While it might take a little longer, the process is fun! In fact, Depop is known for stylish users that garner thousands of followers on the platform. Check out @christiescupboard and @shirleytang_. The range of users on the platform can introduce and inspire the community with multitude of new trends and aesthetics that you might just fall in love with.
If you’re still looking to lock in your go-to style quickly, keep in mind that as you use Depop over time, the app’s algorithm adapts to your aesthetic. Also, the app landing page has a “Suggested for you” tab that pulls pieces based off of your purchases and likes. This feature can help shoppers with less time find cute pieces with ease.
Depop is not the only contender in the second-hand space. Next time you pop open TikTok and feel the pull of trendy new pieces from a haul, consider looking at Poshmark and Vinted as well. Finding pieces you love is gratifying, especially when it’s a good deal. I’ve found some of my favorite pieces on these platforms and I’m sure you will too!
Whether it is Shein or any other fast fashion brand, let’s stop the cycle of mass overconsumption. Ditch the fast fashion sites and check out these links instead: Depop, Poshmark, Vinted. Happy (sustainable) shopping!
Featured image courtesy of @theaishahsofey on TikTok