Thrift shopping has gained huge popularity as a part of mainstream pop-culture. And this global trend can be seen seeping into the Nepalese society too; especially amongst the youth. Buying second-hand items, used or unused, has gained the attention of the younger generation of society who seem to be embracing the trend quite fondly.
Sustainable fashion suddenly gained popularity while the country was under lockdown due to the pandemic and no physical stores were open. Thrifting has become a less expensive option forever one and the number of online thrift stores also went up drastically.
“Thrift shops are a far better option for getting rid of your old, unused items. You get a little money out of it rather than giving it away for free’, says Swechhya Shrestha. Shrestha, along with her friends, hopped onto the trend recently and started an online thrift store named @re_thethriftshop during the lockdown. What started as just a fun thing to do while being stuck at home turned out to be a pretty smooth side hustles.
Though the lockdown is lifted and shopping is not limited to online, people are still opting to thrift. There isn't a vast difference between sales in online thrift stores during and after lockdown. “The sales were great during the lockdown. But it is still going good as long as the page is active”, Elisha Tamrakar one of the owners of @re_thethriftshop said.
Tamrakar explains how the amount of customers a thrift store gets is directly proportional to how active their online page is. She believes that fashion hauls and thrift hauls have played an immense role to set thrifting as a trend and make it popular in Nepal, the lower price ranges are also inviting.
The popularity of thrifting is not just based online. Anukriti Kunwar, a student and a long time thrifter says, “It is an amazing experience to visit a store and thrift. Not only is it budget friendly but we have a lot of options to choose from as well”
Although Kunwar prefers a physical thrift store, another regular thrift shopper, Jenisha Khatri, has no preference when it comes to online or physical thrift stores. Khatri believes if there is something that she likes online, she buys it then and there but having said that, it’s always a bonus if she can go to the actual physical store to try it on.
Pratha Basnet, founder of Affordable Thrift store Nepal, Maitighar says “While having an online platform has been helpful for reaching out to numbers of audiences, there are certain customers who prefer visiting the store to thrift. And as for getting more second hand clothes to sell, I look towards the general public for any clothing they are willing to sell.”
Basnet adds sustainability was the main reason why she started her thrift store a year back and claims that she hopped on at the right time in the thrifting bandwagon.
While some people are still skeptical about sustainable fashion, it has become a booming business and a place to buy a budget friendly wardrobe for many.
READ ALSO:Thrift Nepalese society pop-culture Sustainable fashion