Is Instagram the New Way to Buy Second-Hand Clothes?

secondhand baby clothes

I Should Be Folding Laundry / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

While we have explored how Instagram leads us to more consumerism, we have not explored how Instagram might lead us to more responsible consumerism thanks to a novel way second-hand shops are using the popular photography app.

Turns out, there is a fairly sizable group of parents that use Instagram as a way to buy and sell their kids' clothes. Called "closet shops," the accounts provide images of clothes up for sale in their feed. Those parents who are clothes shopping can pay via Paypal. The trend isn't limited to just kids' clothes -- a simple search on Instagram reveals shops around the world selling used or handmade clothing. Instagram may be becoming a form of Etsy or eBay for many people, and a way to buy more environmentally responsible (let alone interesting, creative and fun) clothes.

Mashable reported earlier this year, "MyHauteCloset, which has more than 38,000 Instagram followers, is an entirely new era of consignment that started on Instagram. [Owner Milysan] Troche said that nearly 100 percent of her clients are from Instagram."

Apartment Therapy points out, "The only catch seems to be that there is no common hashtag for the photos, so finding listings or shops can be tricky. (Though many shop owners do comment on others' listings and have the word "shop" or "closet" in their account names, so finding one shop can lead to finding others.)"

Though there isn't a single common hashtag, some hashtags that will work to find shops include #secondhand, #secondhandclothes, #secondhandstuff and similar search terms.

There is also an app called Poshmark that allows you to buy and sell used clothes via Instagram.

I will never cease to be amazed at how quickly people can adapt a new media platform for their specific needs, like buying and selling secondhand.