Creating sustainable fashion with a classic vibe might sound like a frightening activity to most, however it did not cease 28-year-old Eileen Tan from quitting her job to embark on the journey.
After leaving her full-time job within the oil and gas business in 2019, Tan set out to make Vintagewknd a sustainable different to quick fashion — all within the identify of minimizing the waste that she witnessed within the fashion business.
Her dream was to design and create classic clothes through the use of outdated materials and making them look model new. But that journey was not at all times simple.
“It’s a lot about the mindset. People and corporations are interested to [push] trends fast and hard. So, things to do with the environment get lost in the process — which is something that of course we struggle with as well, like creating sustainable clothing,” Tan not too long ago instructed CNBC’s Inside E-commerce.
Tan, collectively together with her associate Eden Tay, first began curating and promoting classic clothes on a part-time foundation on on-line market Carousell in 2015. It wasn’t till 2019, once they took the enterprise full time, that they began specializing in sustainability.
With all the fabric for his or her reworked clothes coming from garment waste factories and manufacturing strains, upcycling is vital to their enterprise. Upcycling refers turning waste supplies or undesirable merchandise into one thing helpful, and on this case could possibly be baggage or clothes.
The duo have since left Carousell to arrange their very own e-commerce retailer and department out to different social media accounts akin to Instagram, the place they’ve over 34,000 followers. Their advertising efforts are actually primarily centered on TikTok, the place they movie area of interest styling movies based mostly on themes like Winnie the Pooh, Pokemon, and tv exhibits from the ’90s.
When requested concerning the stage of demand for sustainable clothes, Tan stated that sizing and worth factors are boundaries to entry as garments have a tendency to be made in smaller batches, making the merchandise costlier.
“Up to 90% of customers want to buy something from a sustainable brand or retailer. 85% of them are willing to pay significantly more for that,” stated Gwendolyn Lim, Partner at Bain & Company. “So, if the platform is able to work in this idea of sustainability, that could also be a game changer.”
Tan stated the shoppers of Vintagewknd are usually receptive to the concept of protecting the sustainable message — even in fashion.
Even as retailers like on-line fashion model Zalora have publicly made sustainability a precedence, Tan hopes different corporations may even catch that imaginative and prescient. “In order to make a global impact, larger fashion corporations do have to make the change,” she stated.