May 8th, 2018, 12:58 PM

Sustainability Series: An Instagram Approach to Sustainable Shopping

By Sanna Rasmussen
(Image Credit: Instagram)
AUP alumni Leanne Ebens runs a micro-entrepreneur business through her Instagram account, @whereslennyvintage, reselling high quality vintage and antique finds from brocantes around Paris.

While exploring the wild outback of mega flea markets and street garage sales in Paris, have you ever wondered to yourself, “What if I found something here with a lot of value, and it is just sitting under everyone else’s nose?” This modern-day treasure hunting can definitely pay off in Paris, where beautiful finds alike can be thrifted, salvaged, and upcycled.

For the last segment of my sustainability series, I wanted to showcase AUP alumni Leanne Ebens, who is buying and selling using a sustainable business model on Instagram, which is another form of conscious consuming. Leanne graduated AUP in 2016 and later worked at IMG Models, before deciding to start a micro-entrepreneurship. Founded in 2017, whereslennyvintage is an Instagram account that sells second-hand vintage finds from all over Paris. She says, “Because my Instagram page has around 2.5k I am getting exposure to a lot of Instagram users in different parts of the world. I sell my pieces anywhere, but mainly France, UK, US, and Australia.”

image Credit: Instagram

The selling process takes place on individual Instagram posts, either a post in the comments section, or a personal direct message. The article is either set at a standing price, or a bidding war takes place.

When asking Leanne about pricing she said, “I don’t have a set form of pricing, I just try to be reasonable. The pricing is mostly influenced by quality and the material of the fabric.” Although she sells mainly women’s vintage wears, Leanne has also sold three pairs of shoes, one pair being worn on the woman’s wedding day in the South of France,

The real thrill of the game, though, is the hunt. As with lions on the safari looking for prey, Leanne stalks Facebook pages and online forum posts declaring where and when garage sales take place around the city. She says, “Each arrondissement has a market almost every week, but at least every month, you just have to know where to look.” If you find that you do not know where to look, this link had a guide to Paris flea markets on a daily schedule.

Image Credit: Instagram

Once Leanne is at the market, she uses a label checking app to verify that the piece is authentic. Leanne explains her aesthetic as, “classic chic, with timeless properties”, and she often is drawn to materials like silk, denim, and velvet. With Jane Birkin as one of her muses, Leanne has cultivated an self-branded image through her Instagram account, posting pictures of the timelessness of Parisian beauty.

Image Credit: Instagram

Once she buys the garments, Leanne has them professionally cleaned before they are sent to the client. Her prices range from 15 euro to 150 euro and allows the clothing she saves to life a new life. Leanne describes her mentality towards this form of consuming with saying, “I like the idea of finding something that other people have not noticed, sprucing it up, and giving it a new story, because these clothes are meant to live many lives. Sometimes when I go shopping I don’t find anything, and that’s ok too, it’s better to not buy bad things.”