How to make money at uni with streetwear & sneakers

Blake Timmson 22 January 2021
How to make money at uni with streetwear & sneakers

If you're strapped for cash and know a thing or two about streetwear, then you could start up your own mini fashion business. Check out some of these side hustle suggestions from Fashbox.

So you're heading off to university and looking forward to the time of your life. That’s all well and good, but you’ll need to have some money coming in to help you pay for your weekly shop, rent, and those big mid-week socials.

If you're a bit more entrepreneurially-minded and fancy yourself as a bit of a sneakerhead, then there are plenty of ways to make money. 

The ultimate guide to making money from streetwear at uni:

1. Selling your old sneakers and streetwear

If you have old clothes or trainers that are in good condition, then get the ball rolling by selling these first. By doing this, you’re essentially giving yourself a fund, which then can be spent on other items to upcycle or resell. Starting by selling your old clothes gives you a good idea of what sells.

2. Sneaker cleaning/repair service

You may not think there’s much money in this, but there are now more cleaning/repair services focused around sneakers than ever.

You will need about £20 in upfront costs to buy cleaning solution, brushes, a microfibre towel, and waterproofing spray. If you're charging £8-£10 per job, you’ll make your money back after a couple of pairs. If you wanted to take things further, you could offer a minor repair and painting service too.

Bonus tip:

Ask your clients (mates) if they need their kicks cleaned every month. That means you will have an idea of how many pairs and how much money you may have coming in each month. Additionally, you could charge an extra £1 or £2 to pick up and return the sneakers.

3. Customising/altering service

This one is aimed more at the fashion students who may already have the required skills and capital. Some of your fellow students will want to alter some of their clothes, so you could be that person. Likewise, you can customise items that you’ve picked up from charity shops and vintage sales to then sell on apps like Depop.

4. Thrifting & upcycling vintage streetwear and sneakers

Thrifting is a great and inexpensive way to start selling and upcycling items. Thrifting can be done from the following places: 

Kilo sales

Kilo sales are events where you buy second-hand clothing and pay by the kilogram. The key here is knowing which brands will sell; a great way to find this out is by checking apps like Depop or Instagram.

Thrift shops

There aren't loads of thrift shops in the UK but depending on which city you live in then you may be in luck. Sometimes these shops are especially good for trainers. A good tip is to always ask if the ticket price is final.

Charity shops

Always check out your local charity shops wherever you are, as you may find some absolute gems in there from time to time.

Reselling limited-edition sneakers and streetwear

Reselling limited-edition sneakers & streetwear can make you quite a bit of money. However, there is a catch.

Firstly, with items being limited releases they will only be on sale at certain places and you’ll probably have to enter a raffle to purchase anything.

The second catch is that you will have to have money upfront to make the purchase, which could be between £70-£250. The upside though, is that you could make a profit off somewhere between £100-£800 depending on what the item is. Certain Nike trainers have sold for thousands of pounds on auction sites before.

Bonus tip:

If you’re able to build up a clientele around university, then start an invite-only Facebook group or Instagram page where members will pay £5 per month for membership for first dibs on any of the items that you have sourced. You are essentially starting an exclusive membership club. If you had between 10 and 20 members that could be between £50-£100 every month.

How likely are you to make money from this?

At first, it could take a bit of time, especially if you are brand new to this way of making money. It will also be a case of how much you want it.

Just like with anything else, good things come to those who think out a good plan and take action.

If you're savvy, you'll be able to get started with one and have another money making method in the background for example:

1. Start eBaying and building up a clientele for sneaker cleaning or clothing alterations

2. Being on the lookout for limited-release sneaker drops and entering raffles

3. Buying and selling vintage streetwear 

Doing two or three of these at once can maximise your income.

Additional ways to market your business

  • Start a YouTube channel and film your day thrifting, what you found or about your latest sneaker pickups. Take people on the journey and tell your story.
  • Start a social media page to market what you are selling. You don’t need loads of followers to make money, just make sure you have the right target audience.

Starting your entrepreneurial fashion venture will teach you loads of different real-world skills, including buying, selling, social media, product design, photography, and understanding customers. This is all great stuff to put on your CV too, as it provides you with a unique experience. It demonstrates you've got grit and determination, and that you're able to learn through experience. Just make sure that you comply with all tax laws. You may have to register as self-employed which is not hard to do. 

With those ideas, it's over to you. Enjoy making some money!

This article is by Blake of fashbox.com, where he reviews streetwear and trainers, provides tips on how to look after them and highlights where the latest sneaker events are happening around the country.

What’s your side-hustle? Join our panel today and let us know; you’ll get a free £10 Amazon voucher when you sign up.

Blake Timmson 22 January 2021