My friends often ask me why I quit my office job to start The Closet. “What is it that you enjoy about selling other people’s second hand clothes” they want to know. “Who even buys used fashion?”
I contemplate these questions from time to time. Then I open a thrift bag sent in by a someone who chose not to bin their unwanted clothing, shoes or handbag, and the answer is right there. I catch a faint whiff of perfume, that smell that lingers in our wardrobes, that smell that is us. I look at the beautifully folded clothing, well cared for and packed with love and my spirit soars.
I touch the fabric, run my fingers along the zipper and seams and wonder where this gorgeous dress has been. I marvel that this pre-loved and cared for garment has been given a second chance to be worn and loved again.
The contribution that recycling used clothing makes to reducing the fallout from the fast fashion explosion was a serious consideration when deciding to launch an online fashion thrift store, but since then my motivation has multiplied. The absolute joy of restoring a gorgeous coat, jacket or dress that may have served its owner well but is no longer needed, cannot be expressed in words. To see the transformation of a crumpled, stained garment that only needed a dry clean or careful wash to restore it to glory is to experience true satisfaction.
I am reminded by the mindful customers who choose to thrift for some of their fashion treasures rather than frequent lit up stores with rails upon rails of pristine but poorly made fast fashion that true value is worth the effort. The joy and appreciation expressed by someone who has received an absolute bargain pre-owned pair of jeans or has instantly fallen in love with their pre-loved boots reminds me why I chose to start an online fashion resale store.
My motivation lies not in dollars and cents or the monetary value of my company but in the pure joy of handling garments that have been loved and cared for and then passing them onto a new owner to continue their journey. The satisfaction that comes from wrapping a thrift garment in tissue paper, writing a thank you note to its new owner and receiving lovely feedback…. that is why I sell other people’s used clothes.