“The concept of the occasion will be the next big thing in the fashion industry”
When Sruti Ashok started her business The ReLove Closet during the first foreclosure, she never thought her online thrift store would gain popularity in the past year or so.
âI started the business online as a fundraiser for COVID relief in 2020. The initiative is currently selling a curated collection of pre-loved luxury and vintage treasures across the country. Before the pandemic, we didn’t have a lot of thrift stores in India. But now we have a lot of online and physical thrift stores across the country. There are two things people have chosen to save money on. The first would be to become environmentally friendly – many wanted to move away from buying new clothes to save the environment. The second aspect is that we are selling pre-loved luxury goods at a great price. You can’t get Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Gucci, Jimmy Choo products for such a low price. Demand is strong among thrifty for the first time, ânotes Sruti Ashok.
The young entrepreneur says sales have doubled during the year. âBefore, people weren’t open like they are today. But now many are not afraid to buy clothes and other products that they like. This trend is here to stay and I hope more people come forward and buy second-hand clothes, she adds.
Divya Sridharan and Aarthy Suren launched online thrift store The Archive Factory long before the pandemic in hopes of starting to save money as a new way to shop for clothes. Co-founder Divya told DT Next: âWe should discuss and promote the idea of ââshopping from other people’s closets rather than looking for brands to shop from. I am in the United States and have seen savings be a thing of the present for a very long time in the States. Everyone loves and appreciates second-hand shopping a lot more, but that was not the case in India. We had a few consignment shops here and there for vintage items but thrift stores hadn’t taken a wave yet. So we decided to tap into this industry so that people can see what’s out there, how even being secondhand can be so beautiful with an added benefit of how it will be a revolution in the fast fashion industry.
As a fashion blogger, Divya has seen more than ever the negative effects of clothing on the environment. âIt’s the best way to show people how saving can be sustainable in the long run while being extremely stylish. It is also very unique to have clothes that only you will own if you buy from these stores. It’s not like 10 other pieces you would choose from the display and we love the concept. We thought it would be a little harder to push this narrative to India, as second-hand clothing is frowned upon in our country for some reason. But to our surprise, we found a huge community that was just as interested in preserving the environment while being stylish at the same time as us, âshe smiles.
The duo hope to reach more people and believe it will be the next big breakthrough in India’s fashion industry.