Student turns COVID train seat cover into crop top and sells it on Depop

Jimmy Nsubuga
·2 min read
A general view of a Chiltern Railways train at Marylebone Station, central London.   (Photo by Nick Ansell/PA Images via Getty Images)
The student found the seat covers outside Marylebone Station (Getty)

A fashion student has been caught selling a crop top made from a COVID-19 train seat cover.

Mhari Thurston-Tyler, 20, repurposed two Chiltern Railways social distancing covers after finding them on the floor outside Marylebone station, in London, last September.

The Central Saint Martins student had wanted £15 for the tops on Depop but she quickly took the adverts down and refunded one customer after changing her mind.

Depop later said she had violated its terms of service and it did not allow “illegally”, “unlawful or “stolen goods” on its site.

Read more: Police crackdown on lockdown rule breakers amid record number of COVID deaths

But Thurston-Tyler defended herself, adding she realised the error of her ways and had just wanted to make some money because she was struggling financially during the pandemic.

She told the BBC: "I have no money at the moment so decided to put the second one on Depop to see if anyone would buy it.

"I have to resort to little things like this to make ends meet, to pay the bills."

She added: "I didn't steal it but I understand it's not right to re-sell it.”

Thurston-Tyler had modelled the recrafted top herself and advertised it in different sizes on a Depop-related Instagram page.

The blue cover was originally intended to show social distancing rules on the trains and had the words ‘keep this seat free to maintain social distancing where possible’.

Read: 50 areas of England now have more than 1,000 COVID cases per 100,000 people

Thurston-Tyler is now selling her own version of the top that does not contravene rules and also plans to launch other crop tops in the future.

A Depop spokesperson said: "We explicitly prohibit the sale of illegal and unlawful content on the app, including any stolen goods.

"This item clearly violates our terms of service, but as it has been removed by the seller and is no longer for sale on the platform, we will not be taking immediate steps to ban this user."

Chiltern Railways added: "Whilst we appreciate this new take on railway memorabilia, these items are there to help customers travel with confidence and we would respectfully ask that they are left in place."

Watch: Data shows people have become accustomed to breaking the rules