With over one hundred thousand followers on Tik Tok, Scrapped has grown from a Depop side hustle to a full blown business in less than a year. The girlfriend-boyfriend duo Alexa and Blake met in college, where they shared their love of thrifting and reselling. But it wasn’t until Alexa bought a furry leopard tote bag online and thought to remake a cuter one herself that the idea of Scrapped was fully conceived.
“I thought we could do it better, and since we were thrifting all the time we thought why not go thrifting and see what materials we can find,” the two said of the early idea behind the brand. They started brainstorming how they could upcycle different fabrics like blankets and towels to make one of one totes, at which point Blake surprised Alexa with their first ever Scrapped bag for Valentines Day. “We had been talking about the idea for a week or so when he surprised me with a patchwork denim tote he made all by himself on a sewing machine he got for Christmas,” Alexa said of the sweet gift / prototype. From there, they went full steam ahead and headed to Joanns for a cutting mat and rotary cutter. “I would sit on the floor of Blake’s bedroom and cut fabric until my back hurt,” she added.
They launched their first drop on Depop in March of 2021. The drop included 15 bags. Thirteen of which sold within the first hour. “We were completely blown away, and while it was mainly friends and family supporting us, we got a random order later that week from our first customer who wasn’t someone we actually knew,” Blake explained, “And that was really, really cool.”
Now that the brand was starting to feel real, the couple decided to take the plunge and move off of Depop. They took a few months to build their own site, develop their patterns, and invest in materials. By June of that year, they dropped their next collection featuring 25 bags.
“The drop method has worked pretty well for us,” Blake explained of their choice to do limited drops, as opposed to the traditional e-commerce site, “Not only has it helped us build hype behind the brand, it has also allowed us to manage our inventory and better process our orders.”
For their drops to be successful, the brand has had to heavily invest in social. “We realized pretty early on that we were going to have to post 4-6 videos a day,” the two said of their dedication to both Tik Tok and Instagram. As they stuck to a pretty strict social regimen, Scrapped’s following grew tremendously and hit the thousands within a few months. Customers were genuinely enjoying learning more about the brand – including everything from how the fabrics were sourced, to how they were determining their price point, and so on.
And as the brand grew, as did their customer base. “We’ve brought in so many different types of people from our viral videos,” Blake explained. From thrifters, to sewers, to small biz supporters, Scrapped’s followers include a bit of everything and everyone - but they’re favorite is the sustainable streetwear kid, who loves the product and its commitment to sustainability.
“While sustainability is definitely a part of our brand, we just genuinely love thrifting,” Alexa said of their choice to focus on upcycling, “I love finding one of one things, and I’m fascinated by unique fabrics. Each time it feels like I’ve hit the jackpot.” Because each drop starts with a trip (or many) to the thrift store, their collections are entirely determined by what materials they discover. “The fabric truly guides us on what to do,” Alexa shared, “Every bag has a story. For example, we’ve made a few bags out of table runners and it’s funny to think how that used to be in someone’s house and now someone across the country is wearing it as a tote.” Unlike your traditional brand, who considers sustainability as an add-on or an afterthought, it’s embedded into the DNA of Scrapped, thanks to their business model.
Looking into the new year, the brand has a lot of exciting projects up their sleeve. Most importantly is a pivot to focusing on their female customer and the choice to center their story around Alexa, who is stepping into being the face of the brand. A choice that speaks to the exciting shift in the streetwear space, which has been predominantly led by men. “We are so excited to tap into our female audience and share more of my point of view, more of my style,” Alexa shared.