A unique initiative, Reloved Fashion Wardrobe, seeks to promote the purchase and sale of used clothes
Fashionable, Affordable, Sustainable. That’s the tag line of a first-of-its-kind venture in Gujarat. The venture has been founded by marketing professional Gayatri Hurra and image consultant Sandhya Anantani. They held a successful exhibition in March 2022 and are planning their second exhibition on June 10 and 11.
What is this venture all about? Many of us have clothes in very good condition that we don’t use. They hang in your closet and occupy space. Perhaps, they were impulsive online purchases which we didn’t quite like when we tried them on. These very clothes may catch the fancy of someone else.
This is the idea behind Reloved Fashion Wardrobe. Gayatri and Sandhya buy unwanted clothes from people and sell them to others who are comfortable buying second-hand clothes. The duo ensures that the clothes are as good as new. The venture, which started its operations in November 2021, is a registered company.
“We talk about sustainable living but what do we do about it? This venture is an attempt to do something for the environment. There is so much wastage of clothes. In fact, 70% of solid waste at Pirana landfill on the outskirts of Ahmedabad is made up of fabric. Some people wear a dress on one occasion only. They then give it to their maid or pass it on to friends or family members. We are giving them the option of ‘earning from their wardrobe’,” she says.
Their first collection drive for women was held in December 2021 and around 50 people contributed. “The exhibition was delayed due to COVID but we are very happy with the outcome. We collected more than 600 garments and sold 49% of our inventory,” says an upbeat Gayatri.
The duo only accepts undamaged, dry-cleaned clothes. They try to give the seller 60% of the original cost of the garment. “We have designers on our team who assess the clothes for quality, age of the garment, and extent of usage, and then valuate them. We get such amazing clothes! We get designer labels, though we accept unbranded clothes as well,” she says.
Ahmedabad-based Sejal Purohit owns a tea company and by her own admission is a ‘power dresser’. She has contributed a cocktail gown and a pair of unused shoes that did not fit her to Reloved Fashion Wardrobe. “These days, because of social media posts, people are reluctant to repeat a dress for a party or family function. It’s such a waste of resources and energy if these clothes are simply discarded. Apart from being eco-friendly, this venture is a boon for people who can’t afford to purchase expensive clothes frequently,” she says.
Shivangee Vikram, a professional Bharatanatyam dancer based in Ahmedabad, is a customer of Reloved Fashion Wardrobe. She has no qualms buying used clothes. “I have always believed in buying less. The need of the hour is to be more sensitive to the environment. Also, in our family, as youngsters, we used to wear hand-me-downs from cousins. Since a quality and hygiene check is in place, I don’t mind purchasing from this venture. It is a good place for mothers of young children to shop as children outgrow their clothes very fast,” she says.
The June exhibition will have clothes for children aged 5-12 years too, apart from for women. What about men? “We have found that they are reluctant to part with their old clothes,” says Gayatri with a laugh. Does the duo plan to set up a permanent outlet? “Yes, we do. But only after we manage to raise sufficient awareness about sustainable fashion,” says Gayatri.