Shop pre-loved designer clothes this Deepavali 2022

From Anamika Khanna lehengas to Celine bags, pre-loved fashion addresses launched amid the pandemic are making designer and party wear accessible

From Anamika Khanna lehengas to Celine bags, pre-loved fashion addresses launched amid the pandemic are making designer and party wear accessible

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people were shifting to a slower, more sustainable lifestyle, Ahmedabad-based sustainable fashion curator Virja Shah was decluttering her wardrobe.

“The pandemic gave me time to clean up my space and that’s when I realized how many unused things, like clothes and accessories, I had accumulated over the years,” says Virja. Realizing the products could get new life, she launched Pre-Loved by Virja in early 2020. While she sold over 300 outfits her first year, when customers and friends expressed interest in resell their articles, it has developed.

“It was tricky to extend the curation as I didn’t want to lose the aesthetic along the way and market the initiative, so I made a selection through photos sent in by clients. The curation has all the beloved high-end Indian designers including Pero, Eka, Bodice among others,” says Virja, whose biggest markets are Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Turns out, Virja wasn’t the only one on a journey to repatriate designer clothes. Several initiatives have taken root in the years of confinement, and the trend is here to stay. The 2022 annual resale report from online store Thredup and retail analytics firm GlobalData says “second-hand is becoming a global phenomenon,” with the pre-loved fashion segment in particular set to grow by 127% by 2026, and 3 times faster than the global clothing market overall.

GUCCI Ophidia Top Handle Tote at Relove Closet

GUCCI Ophidia Top Handle Tote at Relove Closet | Photo credit: special arrangement

Festive boom

The latest brand to join the bandwagon is Revivify, a pre-loved Indian designer clothing platform selling clothes with brands like Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi, Ritu Kumar, Anita Dongre among others. Founder Aashni Shah says post-lockdown the stigma attached to luxury resale is fading with shoppers “showing an evolved allegiance to responsible shopping and affordability”. “Revivify aims to lead the conversation around creator resale, to move the space into a more consolidated ecosystem.” A Shyamal and Bhumika outfit that originally cost ₹1,16,100 was sold for ₹56,330, and an Anita Dongre lehenga worth ₹3,04,000 was re-sold for ₹1,71,000.

The vintage closet

Carol Humtsoe, founder of Nagaland-based Carol’s Shop, remembers how she wore clothes from her mother, aunts, friends and flea markets. There are a lot of them in Nagaland, says Carol, adding that this is how the idea of ​​opening a store came about “where I collect all the things I love”. “I’ve always loved vintage clothing and really appreciate the idea of ​​recycling and reusing, especially in these times of use-and-throw fashion where waste is slowly becoming a threat,” she says, adding that ‘she doesn’t focus on party or wedding wear. “Most of our clothes are eclectic in their own way, so the customer has more freedom to wear those clothes,” says Carol, adding that their clientele ranges from 20 to 40 years old.

At The Local Vintage (TLV) which launched in 2018, everything from vintage leather jackets to ensembles is getting a new lease on life. Aiming to “reinvent vintage pieces to fit modern aesthetics and remove the stigma of second-hand clothing,” TVC’s new releases include striped and printed shirts, a Delci bag, sweaters and jackets. .

Anuradha says this consumer shift has spawned a new wave of start-ups, including resale platforms, that cater to the sustainable fashion segment. “New technologies, including social marketplaces, are giving consumers the tools to earn money, extend the life of their clothes and connect with each other,” she says.

At Poshmark, the e-commerce marketplace that was launched in India amid the pandemic, in September 2021, there is a surge in orders for designer bags and accessories during the holiday season. Anuradha Balasubramanian, Managing Director – India, explains that traditional silk sarees, sherwanis and lehengas are in demand during the festive and wedding season, and jackets, boots and shoes are highly sought after and purchased items during the winter months.

“Poshmark’s most popular brands in India are Zara, H&M, SHEIN, Forever 21, Nike, Adidas and Levi’s. We are seeing peak metro ridership, and the key states are Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Karnataka,” she says, adding that approx. 73% of Poshmark users belong to the Gen Z and Millennial segment, falling within the 25-34 age bracket.

An outfit from Preloved by Virja

An outfit from Preloved by Virja | Photo credit: special arrangement

Fight the stigma

While parties and weddings are usually associated with wearing new clothes, how do these actors approach this quintessentially Indian state of mind? Anuradha says India has a history of saving and reselling, and passing down traditional fashion pieces over generations is a behavioral norm.

“Previously, saree sellers would go around the villages with a basket of silk sarees in the localities, and the women would exchange a saree from their kitty for one in the basket. The barter would continue and everyone would benefit,” she says, adding that Indian shoppers today are much more value conscious and mindful of their consumption, especially post-lockdown.

As Sruti Ashok, Founder of Chennai-based Relove Closet, witnesses an overall increase and acceptance in the pre-loved fashion market, she says “we still have a long way to go before the purchase of occasion does not normalize as there is still a lot of stigma associated with the concept in India.It retails pieces ranging from a discount from retail price from 30% off to 85% off for luxury brands in particular, and the most popular categories on its platform include clothing, followed by bags, jewelry and beauty products.

Shyamal and Bhumika X revive

Shyamal and Bhumika X revive | Photo credit: special arrangement

Launched in April 2020, Shruti sees there’s still a trend with the majority of consumers “wanting a brand new item instead of picking up a pre-loved piece that’s kinder on your wallet and the planet.” She adds: “Last year we sold an Anamika Khanna and Sabyasachi suit and also from our luxury bag collection we sold the small Gucci Jackie 1961 bag and the Celine bag. sold a limited edition Gucci bag that was brand new, and the Ekaya sets, to name a few.

They reportedly sold for roughly 30 to 85 percent of the original retail price, and they get many pieces with the tags still on or even just worn once, Sruti says. “The Louis Vuitton Monogram Leather Artsy MM bag with an estimated MRP of ₹2,60,000 has a retail price of ₹94,950, and the never-worn Ekaya set priced at ₹45-55,000 has a retail price of ₹17 ₹000.”

Processes and checks

Clothing and accessories go through several rounds of checks before buyers can see them on the site. Sruti explains how the team handles everything from free pickups (pan India), quality checks (multiple checks), photography, listing, cleaning and packing. “We sell everything from everyday wear to party wear and ethnic wear, and our customers come from all metros with an average age group ranging from 21-35 (primary) and 35-and- more (secondary).”

Anuradha points out that at Poshmark, many of those selling gently used items take care to clean, pack, and even add gifts to their buyers. “There are also several New With Tags (NWT) listings on the site that include items that have been purchased and never worn.”

As long as you’re buying from a genuine and trusted platform where every item is of impeccable quality and dry cleaned, you’re virtually buying like-new items for maybe half the price and, on top of that, helping the environment. , says Aashni. “Once you’re done with the item, resell it if you wish! It’s a total win-win.

Making the case for pre-loved fashion, Anuradha says these clothes are a cut-price alternative to the designer first-hand. “Sellers and Buyers can use our ‘Send Offer’ feature to negotiate a lower price, contributing to an even bigger discount. There are also other features like bundles where buyers can purchase multiple items from one seller and get additional discounts.

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