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The Coolest Brands You Can Buy On Depop Are Handmade

Scrolling through ASOS or Zara these days can quickly send the best of us into a stupor. Seeing the same styles, cuts and colours everywhere can leave you crying out for a crumb of originality – something, anything – to stop you giving in and buying the same top that everyone on your Instagram feed is sporting. Luckily, Depop may just be the answer to all your problems.

Widely known as the place to buy secondhand high street and vintage gems, Depop has risen to fame due to its Instagram-style, user-friendly interface and emphasis on sustainable secondhand fashion. However, more and more young people are using it as a platform to launch their own handmade labels, aided by tutorials and ‘thrift flips’ from YouTube and TikTok. Instead of following the crowd and buying the same high street pieces as their peers, young people are now taking matters into their own hands, creating cool and innovative pieces that stand out from the trend-dominated fashion market.

Depop itself is committed to giving young makers a platform. “Depop has always championed creative entrepreneurship, inclusivity and a sustainable, circular mentality,” Sophie Webb, Depop UK’s PR manager, tells me. “With 90% of our active users being under the age of 26, Depop exists to support the next generation in their transformation of the fashion industry. 
 
“With that mission, we’ve committed to amplifying our community’s diverse creative voices and perspectives – giving them a platform to be a part of the fashion industry. Depop offers simple tools to start an independent business; the freedom of self-expression and a hyper-engaged social community, along with tangible guidance on how to take your business to the next level.”

The wealth of easily accessible sewing tutorials online, combined with the ease of setting up a shop on Depop, has enabled smaller, marginalised creators to come to the fore. Giving a platform to makers who may not otherwise have access to expensive fashion degrees or prestigious design internships, Depop has helped to democratise the market, shaking up the fashion industry with designs you quite literally can’t find anywhere else. As Webb says: “By empowering our young community and helping them realise their dreams, we’re helping enable a more democratic, accessible and diverse fashion industry, and one that’s less wasteful.”

Click through to meet seven of Depop’s coolest makers to shop now.

Kez Made It

Who: Kesiah Acquaye, 24, London
The vibe: Joyful and colourful tulle pieces, from crop tops to scrunchies

How did you get into making your own clothes?
I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember, as I was always taking my clothes in when I was younger due to being a skinny child. I bought my first sewing machine in 2017 and last December I had an idea to make a tulle dress for myself, which turned into making a small collection and having a photoshoot with my friends, which became KMI!

What’s the vibe of the brand?
Somewhere between romantic and eclectic. I’ve always leaned towards feminine, whimsical silhouettes – as shown in my use of puffy sleeves, ruched tulle fabrics and tie-up details – but I also love to play around with bold colours to add more edge to my pieces. 

What do you love about being your own boss?
I love the variety of tasks I get to do. From designing to making, shooting, social media managing, I get to do a bit of everything whenever I choose.

What tips do you have for readers who want to start making their own pieces?
My top tip would be to just start! You don’t need to invest in the most expensive equipment or have a perfectly refined idea before creating your own pieces, just start with what you have and the rest will follow. And always remember, mistakes are just lessons in disguise!

Lanni Swim

Who: Katrina Lanni, 25, Huddersfield
The vibe: Vintage-inspired swimwear fit for your next getaway

How did you get into making your own clothes?
I taught myself to sew a couple of years ago and decided to create a few bikinis for my holidays. I love the feeling of wearing something I’ve made and that no one else has. I was finishing uni at the time and started experimenting with different styles. My friends wanted to buy some and I decided to start selling them on Depop on the side of my job. After lots of learning and research I decided to create an actual brand with new styles and new materials. I started Lanni Swim four months ago and all pieces are handmade by myself. It’s a custom business, which allows my customers to be creative and choose their own colourways, then I make it for them. I sew the pieces to be fully reversible, allowing a wider range of looks and different ways to be worn.
 
What’s the vibe of the brand?
I’d say vintage vibes with a Mediterranean influence. I love vintage swim! I find that I prefer the cut and style of them in the ’80s and ’90s. I like looking at old family photos of swimsuits my mum would wear when she was my age, so I use that for inspiration in my designs and marketing. I’ve named all my pieces after places in Italy, as Lanni is Italian and I adore the country. I wanted to create a business with purpose and encourage slow fashion in the industry. Lanni Swim is built upon sustainable and ethical values as my bikinis are made from regenerated nylon recovered from oceans and landfills. This means that each order is helping to contribute to a cleaner and healthier planet.
 
What do you love about being your own boss?
Each day is different, as it’s not your standard 9-5. I don’t have a production team or a marketing team or any help in the background, it’s literally just me, so the days can be really long. But it’s all worth it, seeing girls posting photos in my pieces and saying how much they love them. I also like the flexibility of managing my own time and making my own money doing something I love. I also work another job part-time at the minute so I’m not fully my own boss just yet. 
 
What tips do you have for readers who want to start making their own pieces?
Just make a start! Do the research and just throw yourself into it. You learn by doing something, everything requires practice so the more mistakes you make along the way, the better, because each one is a lesson that you can learn from. It’s also a nice feeling to wear something you’ve made with your own two hands, and even better when you see others wearing them!

The Marcon Court Project

Who: Laura Casas Tomasiche, 33, London
The vibe: Clueless-style spliced suiting with clashing prints

How did you get into making your own clothes?
Ever since I was a kid I was fascinated by garment construction. My grandmother was a great knitter and her best friend was the best seamstress in town. They used to hang out every day, drink sweet wine and do their sewing while listening to trash TV in the background. I would tag along if my mom was working and I would spend hours watching them sew. The best part of it was the relationship with the customers. Women would choose their bespoke design out of the stack of magazines. It was beautiful seeing all of that excitement from the beginning ’til the end. They would leave feeling like they were the most beautiful and stylish person in the world. It was actually my grandmother who pushed me to change degrees and train to become a creative pattern maker and seamstress. 

What’s the vibe of the brand?
I like to say I create quirky wardrobe staples. I love bold prints and colourful fabrics. I studied bespoke tailoring so I work a lot with blazers and reinventing tailored garments. When I make clothes from scratch, there’s a clear ’70s influence. 

What do you love about being your own boss?
It is difficult to find a well paid and chilled environment in fashion working for someone else, there’s always deadlines and stress in sewing studios. Working for myself, I am able to work at my own pace doing what I love. I communicate constantly with my customers and will let them know if I’m having a delay and why. This allows me to work in a healthy environment.

What tips do you have for readers who want to start making their own pieces?
Start by looking at clothes as fabric length and not what they are built to look like. I recommend reworking existing pieces because this would give you an understanding of the construction process. If you make a mistake, don’t stress out, it’s just clothing. Unpick and start again. It’s a learning curve, not a race.

Kitsch Clothing

Who: Camila Lawrence Armas, 19, Leicester
The vibe: Grandpa-style sweater vests ready for winter

How did you get into making your own clothes?
I have a background in fine art and became increasingly interested in mixing media – both traditional and unconventional – to keep myself entertained, challenged and my skills evolving. One of my mum’s friends gave me a big bag full of scrap bits of material left over from her own sewing projects and lent me a vintage Singer sewing machine (one of those you have to crank by hand!). She thought that since I was creative I would surely be able to do something with all those remnants so that they didn’t go to waste. At that point I had only ever used a sewing machine once to make a skater skirt with my grandma for a Year 8 textiles class, so I thought this would be a great challenge. I started making patchwork dungarees from all those random scraps and from there it all kept growing and evolving.

What’s the vibe of the brand?
Anti-fashion, avant-garde, alternative, experimental and simply kitsch.

What do you love about being your own boss?
What I love the most about being my own boss – besides, of course, choosing my own timetable – is having the power of making sure everything I work on is 100% true to my visions. 

What tips do you have for readers who want to start making their own pieces?
Don’t be discouraged by mistakes as anything can be turned into a design feature with some thought. 

Mojo Kojo

Who: Koye Adesanya, 26, Kent
The vibe: Sunny prints paying homage to Nigeria via playful jumpsuits and dungarees

How did you get into making your own clothes?
I started Mojo Kojo because I felt a strong connection to my West African heritage but I spent most of my time in the UK. I could rarely shop for prints and make clothes for myself to wear out and about. So Mojo Kojo allowed me to create products that were fun for people to express themselves. I wanted to celebrate the beauty of African culture with the world. 

What’s the vibe of the brand? 
This summer we’ve focused more on making limited pieces and dropping a lot of new items, flare pants, wide-leg pants, cargo pants, overalls and mini handbags, to name a few. We want to be that funky African-inspired brand that makes someone say “woah” when they look at your outfit! We’re inspired by ’90s culture and colourful prints.

What do you love about being your own boss? 
I love that I’m spending my time building Mojo Kojo’s foundation and investing in its future.

What tips do you have for readers who want to start making their own pieces? 
I would say create something that you would love to wear yourself, as your customers will see this as authentic and will be drawn to you. You are bound to find people out there who like what you like. There’s nothing like being your own brand ambassador!

La Label

Who: Yasamay, 27, Nottingham
The vibe: Reworked ’00s-inspired and club-ready bodycon dresses and halterneck tops

How did you get into making your own clothes?
I used to rework my old clothes to create new, funky and sustainable clothing to wear for myself.
 
What’s the vibe of the brand? 
Modern and edgy.
 
What do you love about being your own boss? 
I love being able to choose when I work, setting time aside that suits me, gives me the motivation to work harder and create new pieces I love.
 
What tips do you have for readers who want to start making their own pieces?
Invest in a good sewing machine. Play around with various fabrics and sewing techniques. Use basic sewing patterns until you feel more confident. Have fun with it.

De Clutz

Who: Amy, 31, London
The vibe: Artistic prints paying homage to Matisse through tote bags and tees

How did you get into making your own clothes?
I paint in my spare time and studied painting at art school so I have always worked with fabrics, especially canvas. I love bright colours and patterns, and often thought about making wearable art. So I started printing and painting onto some old T-shirts I had and I have not stopped since!
 
What’s the vibe of the brand? 
For art lovers, we love the modern masters. My favourite artists are Matisse and Warhol and I have borrowed colours and shapes from their work for some of my items. I am looking forward to having time to work on new products, referencing more artists and designing unique patterns. I like the idea that people can wear their favourite art pieces!
 
What do you love about being your own boss? 
Creative freedom, from deciding on a new print to make to choosing the colour of tissue paper to wrap items in. I love feedback from customers and the more personal experience you get both as a seller and buyer on Depop. As a seller it’s great to know someone really loves your item, and I think Depop buyers appreciate the care that has gone into making items.
 
What tips do you have for readers who want to start making their own pieces? 
Go for it! Start by experimenting, and sharing with your friends for feedback. Then pick one or two items to trial selling and see what is popular. I think more shoppers are supporting small businesses than ever before and really prefer looking for unique items on platforms such as Depop rather than the fast fashion of the high street. 

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

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Credit: Original article published here.

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