An Interview with Amber Ramon: Depop and Sustainable Fashion

3rd-year Biology student Amber Ramon is the owner of Timeless Wear, a Depop shop with 14K followers. She also runs the Bristol University Sustainability Team (BUST). In the spirit of Bristol SU’s Sustainability Month, Anjum Nahar chats to her about the importance of sustainable fashion and the joys of Depop.

When did you open your Depop shop? What motivated you to open the shop?

I got Depop in 2015 in order to sell clothes I didn’t want anymore. My dad is a record collector and likes to browse car boot sales. I found some second-hand clothing when I went with him to one a few summers ago and started off by selling those. Around the time I started uni, I got inspired by other Depop accounts to start up Timeless Wear.

How does your Depop have so many followers?

The shop is around three years old now and I think uploading consistently has helped it to gain followers. I sometimes do promotional things like giveaways which not only helps to increase followers but are also fun to do, for example, when I started the Timeless Wear Instagram account I held a giveaway and it helped me get 1000 followers.

What makes Depop a better platform than other platforms such as Ebay?

I love Ebay too! I use Ebay to find pieces for my own wardrobe a lot. I feel like Depop is more accessible because with Ebay you have to really know what you’re looking for. Depop has the explore page and suggested accounts to follow. In Depop photos, they have whole selected outfits which give you inspiration on how to style items.

Describe Timeless Wear’s style.

Timeless Wear is mainly a reflection of what I’m enjoying at the moment. It definitely has a lot of Y2K inspired pieces in it right now. I enjoy 90s and 80s styles as well as Y2K. In the late autumn, people were loving animal prints and leopard prints so I was looking for items like that. I see what’s trending right now and try to source similar items for the shop.

Amber 1

What is the best ‘garm’ you’ve ever sold?

This is a tough one. The one that springs to mind is this Dior set which was initially a top and a sarong, but I ended up getting my mum’s friend to turn the pieces into a few boob tubes, a dress and some headbands. It was fun to turn the set into so many items that I could sell. Sometimes I list items and end up taking them down because I love it too much and want to keep it for my personal wardrobe.  

Have you had any Depop drama? What’s the funniest or most annoying sale you’ve had?

There’s always a few buyers who are a bit annoying. It’s really annoying when people ask for huge discounts. Like, I’ll list something for £80 and someone will ask to buy it for £20. I luckily haven’t had any major dramas! It was jokes when a girl bought an Afghan coat from me in December and later messaged me saying that she ‘looked like a crackhead in it’! She messaged again saying ‘I’m sorry my friends wrote that’. I thought that was quite funny.

How do you manage your Depop account alongside completing Uni?

It’s really difficult and requires a lot of time management. It’s a shame because I end up neglecting the shop during term time. It’s hard when, even though you’re not listing new items, you still have to manage and respond to messages on items that are already listed. I try and do little things here and there to stay active. I refresh all of the items on my page every day and that keeps them at the top of searches. My uni mates have been really helpful in terms of taking photos and modelling in them.

What are your visions for the future of Timeless Wear?

After uni, I’m going to try doing Timeless Wear full-time. It ties in really well to sustainability too, which is the other area that I’m interested in pursuing a career in. I want to establish Timeless Wear as a brand and I’m thinking of creating a website and a sustainability blog to go alongside it. I like being independent and can’t see myself working in an office. I might create some YouTube content too, like lookbooks.

Amber 3

Why is it important to shop for clothes ethically?

I was aware that the fashion industry was environmentally destructive but I didn’t realise how bad it was until I watched The True Cost documentary. So much cotton is needed to create new clothing and pesticides are often used in growing the cotton. Pesticides are terrible for biodiversity. In some cases, they have even increased the risk of cancer for people living by cotton fields. Also, an excessive amount of resources, such as water and energy, are needed to make new clothes. The fashion industry is one of the biggest carbon emitters. It’s not just environmental issues that we have to consider; often workers in this industry are underpaid and work in inhumane conditions. There are so many pieces of clothing in existence already so when you buy vintage or second-hand you are not only recycling but you’re reducing the demand for new clothing. Fashion is so cyclical so anything that’s in right now could be found second-hand!

Do you have any tips for people looking to reduce their consumption?

Well, Depop and Ebay are good places to start if you’re looking to stop buying from the High Street. Asos Marketplace is an option too, even though it’s expensive. Charity shops are a less expensive option and you can find some brilliant everyday pieces in them. Following Instagram icons who wear vintage is useful for getting inspired. I think watching documentaries and getting educated on environmental issues, as I did, is also a great way to motivate yourself to shop sustainably.

What do you think of brands ‘green-washing’ and treating sustainability as a trend in order to sell products?

You get this a lot with Veganism recently. So many companies are creating vegan products that are environmentally destructive to produce. It’s good that sustainability is entering the mainstream but hopefully people are taking the ‘sustainable’ label seriously. We have a responsibility as consumers to avoid giving our money to unethical companies.

What changes would you like to see the university make in order to reduce its carbon footprint?

BUST has discussed this a lot recently. One thing we’ve discussed is the potential for the university to divest from Barclay’s Bank. BUST supports the People & Planet Society with their campaigning work on this issue. Another idea that’s been mentioned is the potential for the University to campaign for ‘Meatless Mondays’. Veganism and Vegetarianism aren’t accessible to everyone so something like this would help cut consumption without needing everyone in the uni to commit to a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle full-time.

You can follow Amber’s shop on Depop by searching for @timelesss and on Instagram by searching for @timelesswear_

If you are interested in participating in Sustainability Month, be sure to have a look at the Bristol SU Sustainability Month Facebook page. There are tons of interesting events coming up, including a clothes swap run by BUST on the 22nd.

P.S. This interview isn’t sponsored by Depop!

All Images credited to Amber Ramon/Timeless Wear.

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