Encouraging Campus Sustainability and Community Bonding, “Yappo” Facilitates Space for Andover Students to Recycle Clothing

Lily Haik ’22, one of the founders of the new Instagram account @yappoandover, seeks to encourage campus sustainability by promoting the reselling of “preloved” clothing within Andover’s community. The account, she explained, is a demonstration of the official Yappo app that will be launched in the next few months. Currently, the @yappoandover account has more than sixty posts of pre-worn clothing sold for free or at lower prices, rapidly gaining popularity among Andover students who share a passion for fashion.

“I came up with the idea because, in my [Lower] year at Andover, I really loved apps like Depop and websites like Poshmark just because I had so many clothes and things that I didn’t really want anymore but didn’t know what to do with them…I just found it so inconvenient to walk to the post office and ship these things. I also spent a lot of money and didn’t get the same amount of money back… so I started posting things that I wanted to sell on my Instagram story and my Instagram account, and I was getting a lot of attraction from the students here [at Andover], and so that’s when I came up with the idea during Covid-19,” said Haik.

In her time at Andover, Haik has observed the excessive amount of material waste students produce over the year. She believes that through Yappo, where clothing is recycled instead of being thrown in the trash, she can contribute to creating a more sustainable Andover and lowering the clothing consumption rate.

“You know there’s so much clothing waste at Andover, and I’m sure there’s so much clothing waste at all these other boarding schools, especially when you move out during the summer. You have so many things you don’t know what to do with, you don’t want to bring everything home, so I think it’s such an important idea [to address this issue],” said Haik.

With regular purchases and requests to sell clothing, Haik commented that the account has been successful and well-received. However, Haik explained that the purpose of Yappo is not for her profit but to facilitate a space for students to give back to the environment and their communities. She further described the donation feature of the future app that will allow students to donate their profits to charity.

“The whole point is not to make a profit but actually to just have kids re-wear clothes and lessen material waste. A special function of the [future] app is a donation function. Instead of students making profit, you take your profits and donate them directly to a charity…I think so many kids at this school are so privileged, we don’t need to make money out of clothes that we don’t like anymore, I think it’s really important to also learn how not to only give back to the environment but also give back to our communities…,” said Haik.

Haik expressed her excitement for the future of her app and the impact it will make on the Andover community. As she finishes her last year at Andover, Haik hopes that Yappo will be her final contribution to the community that has nurtured her throughout her high school years.

“The actual physical app that you’ll be able to download from the App Store…should be out before summer. This is how I plan to leave my mark at Andover. I really hope to leave this app so other students who love clothes, fashion, trying new things, and keeping our campus sustainable, like me, can use [the app] forever,” said Haik.