When it involves giving a second likelihood, garments undoubtedly deserve one. In a world, working on quick vogue, the recognition of pre-loved, second-hand, reused garments has picked up, as talks of sustainability and local weather change has taken centre stage. Even, actuality tv present Love Island for its eighth season is planning to decorate contestants in pre-loved clothes by partnering with eBay UK as its outfit supplier.

While, thrift retailers promoting second-hand and classic garments have been common in India with markets like Sarojini Nagar and Janpath in Delhi, and Fashion road in Mumbai, there’s a thriving thrifting scene, being witnessed on-line and on Instagram.


Environment acutely aware millennials and Gen Z, with their sense of distinctive model are working thrift shops on Instagram, democratising second-hand, classic and export surplus items.

Tamanna Chawla, co-founder Curated Findings, a thrift and consignment retailer that operates on Instagram and on-line , stated, “It started as a passion project in January 2020, and at that point , the whole intent was to provide people with sustainable yet affordable option to fast fashion. And, second-hand fashion helps us fill that gap. My business partner and I, are young professionals and we didn’t have much money to spend on sustainable brands. I was absolutely against fast fashion and then we discovered second hand fashion. Eventually, we wanted to share this with others so that the impact is wider.” The bio of retailer reads: “Making Second Hand Culture Cool Again.”

According to the 2022, resale report by thredUP, the world’s largest on-line thrift retailer, ‘Secondhand is becoming a global phenomenon, expected to grow 127% by 2026. The global secondhand apparel market will grow 3X faster than the global apparel market overall.’

“Earlier, thrifting was mostly for the reason of saving money. Now, we have an aware audience that knows, that it’s good for the pocket and good for the planet. Even if you go for any sustainable brand, at the end of the day, reusing something that has already been produced is more sustainable than producing anything new, no matter how sustainable it is,” stated Ishita Singh, founding father of Oakark.

Sustain your vogue

Fast vogue is proving to be a catastrophe for the atmosphere as manufacturers are overproducing to satisfy the calls for, resulting in Western international locations, dumping unused garments in international locations of Africa and Asia, majority of it ending up in landfills. For occasion, The Kantamanto Market in Ghana’s capital, Accra, is West Africa’s hub for used clothes from the West. According to the OR Foundation, an NGO from the US, estimates that about 15 million particular person gadgets of used clothes now arrive in Ghana weekly, although 40% find yourself discarded on account of poor high quality. With no use for them, the rejected gadgets first find yourself at landfills after which journey additional into the ocean.

“This is why we need to reuse clothes. We work through flea market vendors since flea market has lot of second-hand goods that is exported to the country from the Western countries. This is how the cycle of secondhand goods work, globally. All the excess clothing are exported to countries in Asia and Africa from rich Western countries. This ends up in the flea markets. Then again, these flea markets are filled up with export surplus, which are generated here because India is a manufacturing country. When export houses get an export order, they must make 5% extra, to compensate for any issues with the clothes produced. These export surpluses end up in the flea market. If it’s not sold out, it has the same future – it ends up in the landfill,” defined Chawla.

Pre-loved to Re-Loved

Featured vary of garments and equipment on these thrift shops are curated with lot of thought behind it. The ‘collection drops’ are given enticing names and even themes. From T-shirts to uncommon classic clothes, consumers can discover a treasure trove at these thrift shops, for a few hundred rupees. Once a buyer likes one thing, they’ll go away a touch upon that put up, asking the vendor to order it. Payment mode is shared and the products are shipped to the customer.

Afreen Akhtar, founder, Ismat Store, calls it a “gender fluid thrift store”. “Even before my thrift store, I wanted to sell memories to people. When we ship products to the customer, we send them postcards which are literature and art based,” stated Akhtar. Stressing on the necessity for inclusivity in vogue that she follows in her retailer, she added, “Generally there are clothes for sizes like XS and S, that you mostly find. There’s not much for plus sized people. We are trying to source for bigger sizes. The problem with fashion brands is that they are still making clothes for a particular gender. We just want to tell people that you can literally wear anything you want. You don’t have to conform to the idea of fashion the society should follow.”

So, has sporting second hand garments garnered acceptance? “Some people don’t understand the concept of a thrift store. However, 95% of our customers are cool with the clothes. Some people will keep asking for discounts saying that if it’s second hand, then why are you selling it at a particular price,” stated Akhtar.

“Yes! Many have become more open to thrifting in India. When Mirinwon started, some of my customers already knew what thrifting meant , but many weren’t, the same question asked to me was “is it a new piece”? stated Ngahon Tungshangnao, founding father of Mirinwon, primarily based out of Ukhrul, Manipur.

The recognition of those shops is obvious from the numbers in items bought,each time a brand new assortment is dropped. Wakute Wezah, founding father of Nagaland primarily based, Thrift Nations Apparels, stated “I sell around 150-200 pieces in a month. Over the years there has been a certain boom in thrift stores online, especially after the pandemic. Thrift stores now serves as a platform for people to earn their pocket money and also provide the audience/followers to shop clothes at affordable rates, while avoiding the harmful fast fashion.”

The writer tweets @Namyasinha

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