Sophie Smith: Making a business to combat fashion industry’s clothing waste

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Smiths instagram-based clothing store currently has 118 followers.

Maria Maraldo ‘21 and Charlotte Parent ‘21

You may have heard about it already– the new trend of reselling clothes in various ways on the internet. Many high school students and adults alike take part in this phenomenon, and some have gone as far as creating their own business, like Sophie Smith ’21.
Smith sells her old clothes and thrifted finds on her Instagram shop @sophiies.shoppe. A big reason why she began it, she said, was that she realized how some people didn’t like the time and effort involved in thrift shopping– she wanted to find a quick and easier way that would appeal to them and make a profit.
“I started the page about a month ago, in December,” Smith said. “The process is quite simple– whenever I find a vintage piece I think I can resell or an item of clothing in my own closet that I haven’t worn in forever, I’ll take photos of it and post them on the account. In general, I just love thrifting and find it really fun.”
Smith said she’s always been an avid supporter of thrifting and using one’s clothes to their fullest potential. However, when she realized the fashion industry’s enormous carbon footprint as a result of their production process and materials used in clothing, she knew she had to do something about it, no matter how small.
“I resell clothes I no longer wear because I’d rather see them being worn by my friends than sitting in my closet, going unused,” Smith said. “Reselling clothes is much more cost effective and efficient compared to throwing them away. When I first learned about the massive amount of waste-producing clothes manufactured by the fashion industry, I decided I didn’t want to be a part of that– so, I resell my unused clothes and thrifted pieces to combat this clothing waste.”
For Smith, she said one of the appeals for students to buy clothes through a small Instagram shop rather than stores is the more affordable prices and easier buying methods.
“It’s better and easier for high school students to buy clothes (through a smaller shops) because usually, the prices tend to be lower,” Smith said. “They don’t have to carve out a huge chunk of time to go all the way to a mall and try things on for just a few pieces of clothing.”
Most of the clothes she resells are from stores such as Value World or Salvation Army, Smith said. She said she uses these stores over other reselling apps such as Poshmark or Depop because it’s easier to find clothes in the stores.
“I usually I stick to these kinds of stores instead of the different apps because the pieces and clothes there can be so unique or rare that they’ll really increase the price,” Smith said. “And I, truly, do get most of my clothes from vintage and thrift stores. I love shocking people when I tell them my entire outfit was thrifted– and occasionally, I’ll also shop at Urban Outfitters or Forever 21.”
According to Smith, reselling her clothes and managing her own Instagram shop has been nothing but and enjoyable experience for her.
“Instagram shops are the way to go– they’re efficient, good for the environment and more affordable for the average high school student,” Smith said. “I’ve even found some really good clothes through them– like a special edition pair of LuluLemon leggings for $20. I just really love (having my own shop)– it’s so much fun.”