build a sustainable wardrobe with whatnot


illustration by kate porter

As consumers become more and more environmentally conscious of their fashion purchasing decisions, resale platforms are thinking of new and engaging ways to reach their audience and sell their product. We’ve heard of sites like Depop, Poshmark, thredUP and Mercari that all sell clothing in the exact same way and sometimes seem a little overpriced. What we haven’t all heard of is Whatnot; a resale app that isn’t new, but has recently delved into the world of fashion.

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Grant LaFontaine and Logan Head founded Whatnot in 2019, making it relatively new in the reselling community. They started out authenticating and selling Funko Pops, but since then they’ve extended their marketplace to include sports cards, toys, comic books, video games, vintage clothing and more. What differentiates Whatnot from other marketplaces is its unique buying and selling format. Sellers primarily host live streams where buyers can then bid or immediately buy items from housewares to collectibles in real time.


Sellers must be approved, accepted and attend a training session before starting, which is meant to ensure authenticity and a positive buyer experience. They can either post items to sell directly through their profile or sell during live streams, which are set for a specific time and also visible on their profile. For buyers, app or website navigation and bidding on items is easy, and since livestream traffic is relatively low, sellers often directly greet buyers entering the stream.


Whatnot created an Instagram for fashion in December of 2022, where it highlights fashion sellers, shares different style edits, lists sellers hosting themed shows and features influencers and celebrities the app has partnered with. Among these are Kat Von D, Grace Brinkly and Laini Ozark.

So why the sudden integration of fashion? Laela Sturdy, general partner at one of Whatnot’s investors CapitalG, told Business Wire, “Whatnot is one of the fastest growing marketplace we’ve ever seen.” She explained how the “social-media-like-engagement” differentiates the platform from competition, and the successful launch of new categories, such as fashion, demonstrates the power of the platform. 


Whatnot creates a unique sense of community between buyers and sellers because it’s interactive. Once you click on a show, it looks and functions similar to a TikTok live stream, and sellers often welcome you in. They will either show pieces and allow bidding simultaneously, or they will go through their pieces until a comment asks them to run something. Sellers set the initial bidding price, and if you like something you see, all you have to do is press the bid button on the bottom of the screen. You’ll immediately be alerted if you win the auction, and then you’ll receive your tracking information as soon as it has shipped.


You can comment with questions about a garment, and sellers answer in real time. For many shows, bidding starts at $1 and many pieces are either true vintage or new with tags. Since the fashion category of Whatnot is still relatively new, not many people are using it compared to reselling giants like eBay and Depop, but this only makes the fashion more affordable, as you don’t have to bid against many other people. Watching live streams can even feel entertaining as you eagerly anticipate what sellers might show next.

Click here to sign up for Whatnot. If you refer a friend and they make a purchase, you even both get $10. Grab a snack, start watching and start shopping!

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Hi! I’m Catie Pusateri, A Magazine’s editor-in-chief. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.