Not so long ago, if you wanted to sell your old or ill-fitting clothes you'd have to host a garage sale, a clothing swap or start up an eBay account to hawk your closet excess. And when the fashion blogger community started booming many bloggers tried to manage their own ecommerce sites, or started new blogs dedicated to selling the clothes they no longer wore.
But these days it's getting easier and easier to sell your clothes and share your clothes – which also makes it easier for your style icons to sell their clothes to you. Sounds good right? Closet sharing and selling start-ups seem to be exploding lately. We had a chance to chat with Jie Zheng, one of the founders of the new closet sharing app – Material Wrld – to get her take on the trend.
Zheng says Material Wrld came to be because she and her business partner, “were tired of getting ripped off by consignment and thrift stores. We looked into options to sell online but felt that eBay was inconvenient and not so pretty. We loved Etsy but wanted to sell recent fashion that's not vintage or handmade.” From there they came up with their site.
In addition to Material Wrld – we've got our eye on a few similar sites and apps for sharing your closet. Here's IFB's quick list – plus some tips for using them to help your blog!
5 Fashion Startups to Watch
1. Material Wrld – Brand new on the scene, Material Wrld gives you access to items in your favorite taste-makers closets. From The Man Repeller to Steven Alan (and more to come soon) you can browse castoffs of the most stylish people you follow. And soon will be able to hawk goods from your own closets.
2. 99 Dresses – This site asks you to upload your unwanted fashion into their “Infinite Closet” – you can then browse and buy a look to wear, that you then resell. The best part? It's all free. You earn “buttons” for uploading your dresses and then can spend those buttons on new dresses – all you have to worry about is shipping costs!
3. HipSwap – HipSwap creates localized online communities – basically letting you shop in your neighbors closets (you can also shop other neighborhoods!) The idea is you upload your goods, and then check out what people are offering near-by, letting you build relationships as well as refreshing your closet.
4. PoshMark – An iPhone app that lets you sell clothes from your closet and shop other members closets all from your phone! PoshMark also host Virtual Shopping Parties so you can connect with their community while you shop!
5. Closet Swap – Similar to PoshMark Closet Swap lets you share your closet with friends – however on Closet Swap you just borrow each others' clothes. The site (and app) let's you track who has borrowed what from you, and who is nearby with something to share that you might want to borrow.
So – How Can These Help Your Blog?
- Let's start with the obvious – getting access to fashionable new clothes basically in exchange for your old clothes will keep your style posts fresh and your bank account happy!
- Anytime you can join a new community you'll find new friends and followers (what happened when you joined IFB??) The apps like PoshMark and Closet Swap can help you build your network as well as your closet.
- Browse for inspirations! No new ideas for styling your own clothes? Take a peek into the closets for sale for some new ideas. Maybe you'll see something that reminds you of an old shirt you forgot you had – or give you a brilliant new way to style your denim shirt.
- Convenience and personal branding. “As a social marketplace, Material Wrld is a perfect spot for personal branding for bloggers. Users can showcase their style through both products they want to sell or just want to show off (for now) as well as sharing the stories behind the items they own,” says Zheng.
- Brand Relationships. Fashion start-ups love working with bloggers! Reach out with ideas and questions – practice those pitching skills! (Reach out to Material Wrld by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!)
What do you think? Are these closet selling apps here to stay? Or are they just the latest fad?