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TikTok and Depop “Style Bundles” Are Catalyzing the Thrifting Movement

Personal stylists have long been a pillar in the celebrity fashion industry. They curate event outfits for A-listers by identifying their clients’ styles and keeping a keen eye on trends. But now, personalized style is no longer relegated to the elite. Teens on apps like TikTok and Depop make personal styling affordable, sustainable, and accessible with style bundles. 

Gen Z-ers are taking to the thrifting app Depop to sell personalized outfit bundles. A customer can purchase a bundle for anywhere from $50-150 and provide their measurements to receive one to four personalized outfits, thrifted just for them. The customer would specify a clothing aesthetic (Y2K, goth, preppy, retro, skater, etc.) and can even link a Pinterest board of clothing inspiration to facilitate the stylist’s curation. 

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Although some stylists have become popular enough to develop professional businesses and operate on their business’ website, most style bundles are listed and sold on Depop. The phenomenon’s rise in popularity took place on TikTok, where stylists posted short behind-the-scenes videos of their styling process. This attracts potential customers and provides transparency that many corporate businesses lack. TikTokers such as @freckledlaur, @bundlebrat, and @egirldancer5 show their thrift store trips, clothing hauls, and styling tips that make up their style bundle businesses. TikTok provides incentives for potential customers because stylists will often film the process and finished result of a customer’s order. Who doesn't want their unique order showcased to their favourite stylist’s followers? The integration of Depop, Pinterest and TikTok makes for a ground-breaking and accessible method of business. 

Accessibility is one of the most appealing aspects of style bundles. The customer experience is fully online and supported on already-popular apps. Depop style bundles are a great option for those who may not live in an area with good quality thrift stores nearby. The bundles are also helpful for people who want to update their wardrobe but aren't familiar with fashion or thrifting. A customer does not need to be fashion-savvy to build their unique look.

Style bundles are also very affordable. Although it might initially scare you to see one listed for $100, that bundle will typically provide you with two outfits, two to five accessories (hats, bags, hair accessories, jewelry, etc.), and often a surprise goodie bag of candy or stickers. $100 for six to eight pieces is around $15 per item, which is comparable to the prices of items at regular stores. The price also accounts for the value of the stylist’s labour, as they will be the one going out and shopping for the clothing items that will match your body type and requested aesthetic.

Most importantly, style bundles are sustainable. They support the eco-friendly thrifting movement by creating outfits from only thrifted items. Shopping at thrift stores is a great alternative to consuming fast fashion since it keeps more items out of landfills, reduces water and resource waste, and reduces pollution. Thrifting is one of the most sustainable ways to shop since you’re buying clothes that already exist. 

If you’re in the market for some new affordable clothes this year, support a small business and try a personalized style bundle! Get the aesthetic of your Pinterest dreams while still being environmentally conscious.

Mayson is a third-year McMaster student majoring in Indigenous Studies and English & Cultural Studies. She loves writing, making playlists, reading, and walking her cat. Whenever she's back in her hometown, Mayson takes her deaf cat Holiday on daily walks outside!
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