WHAT IS THRIFTING?
Thrifting is simply buying from stores that sell pre-loved, second-hand clothes, accessories, and lifestyle products. This concept of reusing gently- used items is decades old. Traditionally Thrift shops were referred to as Charity shops and as the name suggests these shops were set up as non-profit organizations to raise money for various causes.
The first thrifting experience can be seen dated back to 1897 when Salvation Army’s ‘Salvage Brigade’ was launched out of a basement where residents would go in search of used clothes and receive food and lodgings in return.
Progressively, Thrift stores became more organized and commercial, paving way for new possibilities like vintage shopping from consignment stores that attracted a wealthier clientele.
As the awareness on sustainable and affordable fashion rose, Thrift stores became an authentic and organic way of supporting the same. Now, in the 21st century we have the luxury to thrift from the comfort of our homes and even so from Instagram and e-stores.
In India, thrifting is a fairly new concept and its presence can be seen online. The pandemic opened up the platform for online sellers and buyers alike. This growth in thrifting culture in India is promising and here to stay. What makes us even more happier is to see so many leaders step up with their unique Thrift Store offerings and that together, this Indian Thrifting Community is providing endless options to cater to an audience of 1.3 billion people! After all, the wider the reach- the better the impact!
WHERE DO THESE CLOTHES COME FROM?
Most thrift stores usually don’t have fixed sources for the curation process.
• Established thrift stores, especially the ones in the west, like the Salvation Army and Goodwill entirely source their inventory through donations. This is followed by smaller thrift stores too, where they sell donated pre-loved clothes.
• In India, Thrift stores curate pieces from local second-hand shops, and flea markets. A couple of such stores also allow people to sell their preloved and vintage clothing through their platform.
• Big retailers and manufacturers usually produce extra stock in case of defects and errors. These then become a sourcing option too.
Since thrifting is still a very new concept in India, we are here to clear all your doubts. Here’s a brief breakdown of how things work in our office- on the other side of your screen!
We make sure we love what we source, which is how we know that others will love it too!
All articles are sanitised or washed. Our quality control team makes sure the product does not have any major defects. All minor defects are fixed or upcycled by embroidery or other surface ornamentation techniques and updated in the ‘product description’.
We look forward to photoshoots because the team gets a chance to explore their creative side to style the pieces!
LISTING and SHIPPING
Articles are listed on the website with all necessary information on fabric, measurements, sizings, etc. All sold articles are packed using upcycled old magazine paper dating back to our personal subscriptions of 2017-2018 Vogue. We add a cute note-card in each order with a handwritten message- made in eco-friendly cotton rag paper which is designed and manufactured by 0neByZer0. Packed pieces are then shipped in paper envelopes with plastic lining which is 100% compostable.
THRIFTING IN THE WEST vs THRIFTING IN INDIA
Thrift Stores in the West majorly stock gently-used old clothing that is donated to them or sold/consigned with them. Research shows that only 20% of the clothing handed over to thrift stores is sold out and the remaining 80% is sent for recycling or exported for resale in Asia or Africa. These clothes are in great condition and end up in flea markets in India. Along with this, Thrifting in India has its own dimensions too, like including the availability of export surpluses (as seen widely) along with secondhand items.
Being a manufacturing-centred country, export surpluses and samples end up in the same flea markets as secondhand goods with the same intention (of being sold) and the same end result in case they are not sold (of ending up in the landfill eventually). Distinguishing these items as ‘surpluses’ is not always possible or traceable. Export houses and manufacturing units manufacture about 5% extra stock to compensate for any defects/flaws that might occur in the production of orders. Hence generating surplus and samples. But maybe this is our way of adding the Indian element to the Thrifting experience!
THE RE-LOVE PROJECT
The Re-love Project is an initiative started by us to help the Indian audience clear out unused and gently-used excess clothing, fashion and home accessories through us. The idea is to ‘Make Secondhand Fashion Cool Again!’
Sounds something you could use? Stay tuned for more information as we work on resuming the project soon!
Interested in making a conscious choice by buying the articles listed at The Re-love Project? Click here to view the available items.