Molly Hayward has achieved what many Depop sellers dream of. Not only is her shop, Not Just Trash, now her full-time passion project, it’s also allowed her to realise her career goal of becoming a stylist. The tastemaker is one of Britain’s most prolific presences on Depop, with tens of thousands of followers and customers who await her drops as eagerly as they anticipate her style hacks, or the latest outré colour combination to hit her Instagram feed.
Now 22, Molly was something of an Instagram influencer in her late teens, but quickly tired of the cycle of promoting newness and over-consumption that came with the territory. Instead Molly, who says she’s always had a head for business, chose to take her content in a more sustainable direction by listing most of the pieces she’d accumulated on Depop. A year later, Molly found herself buying pieces with the sole intention of reselling them on the platform, and she hasn’t stopped since.
“It’s amazing. There are people I’m friends with who have been supporting me online for seven years, and we’ve never met each other,” she tells Miss Vogue over Zoom of the community she’s fostered. “There’s a real sense of a support network on Depop. I have a big group chat full of Depop sellers, and we try to help and promote each other.”
One of the things that fascinates Molly most about her following — 36,000 on Depop, over 30,000 across Instagram — is seeing how they’ve moved with her as her style has evolved. “I’m always surprised as I’ve changed a lot,” she admits, adding that the clothes she used to sell were “boring”, and completely different to the Y2K-meets-fairy aesthetic she champions today.
One thing that has not wavered is Molly’s authenticity. “The most important thing for me is that I’ve always sold things that I’ve liked personally, and that’s been my selling point,” she explains. “A lot of people follow my Depop because they like my personal style. I guess as that changes, [my followers] see that and want to change their style as well.”
Molly admits that staying true to herself isn’t always easy on Depop. Given the knowledge she has built up of what will sell quickly, it would be easy to source her items solely with profit in mind. “I have statistics in my brain that I have to make each month, but I’m not trying to be the next big thing. I’m just moving slowly,” Molly says, describing her mindful approach to the business she operates from her South London bedroom. “I want it to be compatible with my life. I don’t put too much pressure on myself to look at how many pieces other people are selling.” Though an influential seller, Molly isn’t much of a buyer for her own wardrobe. In all her years of selling on Depop, she’s only picked up around 20 things for herself on the platform.
One noteworthy fan of Not Just Trash’s up-cycled offering is the 20-year-old musician Beabadoobee, who Molly now calls a close friend as well as her client. Their union didn’t get off to a good start though. “I’d never lost anything before, but the first three things Bea bought from me got lost in the post,” says Molly. “It was so tragic. I’d gifted her a couple of pieces as well, and was so excited, but then £300 worth of clothes were gone.” Following reparations and a weird touch of fate – Molly’s boyfriend, Jacob Bugden, joined Bea’s band, meaning they met in real life — the musician remains a frequent visitor to Not Just Trash, shopping almost weekly for new pieces.
Not only that, Bea brought her favourite Depop seller in to style her “Worth It” music video. “It’s quite funny as she was meant to have a major British designer creating her an outfit, but Bea didn’t like the clothes,” Molly says. “She asked me to do it instead!” Molly has since styled the singer and her band for her “Together” video.
The two have a shared aesthetic that means their collaborative process — postal service issues aside — has been seamless. “I just happened to have all the pieces that she was looking for. We have a very similar vision, so collaborating together has been a lot of fun.”
Growing awareness among Beabadoobee fans that Molly is the brains behind some of Bea’s best looks has had an impact on her Depop sales, too. “I remember the first time she did me a shout out and [the attention] was coming in from everywhere,” Molly recalls. “Obviously everyone wants the same as Bea, but I’m a vintage shop, so I only usually sell one item of each thing. That’s sort of been the biggest thing to get around, because everyone wants what she has, but with my shop that’s obviously not possible.”
It’s not just the supply and demand obstacles that bother Molly, who is all about being unique. “It’s a shame, really. If I see something on someone that I like, I always look for a slightly different version. I wish people would come to me and ask for tops that were similar, rather than the exact same thing. You shouldn’t want something because someone else has it, you should want something because you like it.”
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