Second-hand should be ‘first’, believes Reluxable’s Marie-Hélène Stavelot

What motivated you to start out a enterprise involving luxurious second-hand clothes and niknaks?The distinction between ‘classic’  and ‘second-hand’  labels resides in our mindset. Vintage is routinely thought-about stylish, cool and one-of-a-kind, whereas second-hand, quite the opposite, throws up photographs of used, soiled and consumed gadgets.
As the founding father of Reluxable, which is an internet aggregator, bringing collectively trusted luxurious second-hand  outlets and customers, my mission is to take away the stigma round “second-hand clothes”. I consider that individuals’s perceptions have to evolve in relation to shopping for pre-loved gadgets.
People don’t need to put on somebody’s used garments, however trusted second-hand outlets clear and promote high quality reused garments. The concern about high quality can also be unfounded. The older the garments, the higher the fabric used for its creation.
Changing these well-established mindsets and attitudes will take time and effort. But in immediately’s world, we now have many advertising instruments and means to assist folks change their biases. Influencers and celebrities can use social media to deliver consciousness towards fast-fashion consumption and spotlight the advantages of sporting second-hand. Platforms corresponding to Bearly used Instagram to advertise the most recent traits with pre-loved garments, and that’s what I do with Reluxable to showcase second-hand luxurious trend.
What did you do earlier than beginning the corporate?I’ve a bachelor’s diploma in enterprise administration from Brussels. After graduating, I labored in banking within the Democratic Republic of Congo for 2 years. I then determined to do my grasp’s diploma in public relations and communication in London. Following that, I moved to Dubai and labored with a fintech startup. In December 2020, I based Reluxable.
What have been your key takeaways from beginning the enterprise?I’ve been energetic on the luxurious second-hand market since I used to be an adolescent. I used to usually resell my garments and different  gadgets. It enabled me to look at the enterprise evolution, masking the whole lot from the bodily consignment stops to the net resellers. While trying to find the fitting growth staff, my sister, Olivia, who can also be the COO of the corporate, and I launched a weblog with ideas and recommendation on shopping for second-hand luxurious items. This led to the net launch of Reluxable in November 2021.
Our mission has been to encourage folks to hitch the round trend motion and discover a extra sustainable option to take pleasure in luxurious trend. We combination gadgets and costs from numerous reseller companions, making certain all of the gadgets obtainable on one web site, saving the shopper time and bother looking individually on completely different websites. The platform means that you can browse, evaluate costs and purchase solely from trusted resellers.
Is there a requirement for second-hand garments?There undoubtedly is. According  to a Financial Times report (2019), 74.9 per cent of adults polled in a survey purchased not less than one used merchandise within the earlier 12 months. This interprets to 196.6 million people who find themselves concerned within the reuse financial system. Although this quantity may appear important, it pales in comparison with these shopping for from fast-fashion retailers and clothes conglomerates.
The greatest option to change the stigma round second-hand gadgets is to spotlight the advantages of shopping for it. The atmosphere is the primary sufferer of fast-fashion waste and air pollution. Awareness campaigns towards the clothes trade’s affect on the planet are rightfully bombarding us with pressing messages to cease. Buying pre-loved gadgets diminish the dear assets and supplies to create new clothes. It additionally helps cut back unethical compelled labour.
I’ve additionally tracked the second-hand luxurious marketplace for a decade and have seen these associated companies mushroom and develop. I consider that immediately, greater than ever earlier than, they’re turning into socially extra acceptable.
Thrifting is greater than only a fashionable sociocultural fad, it’s a sensible consuming different for ourselves and the atmosphere. As thrifting turns into extra built-in into our day by day lives, the optimistic effects of our actions will last more. The subsequent generations will thank us for our choices.
Tell us about your online business mannequin.Our enterprise mannequin, for now, is a matchmaking and affiliate enterprise mannequin that serves two units of shoppers: resellers and prospects. We join trusted resellers with prospects everywhere in the world via affiliate internet marketing. We join customers with a number of resellers to scale back the variety of on-line locations required to browse completely different merchandise. We allow customers to browse merchandise from a number of retailers all obtainable in a single place, seek for particular merchandise, evaluate merchandise costs, save their favourites and be redirected to the retailer’s web site to finish the acquisition. We get a cut up of the sale worth.
What are a number of the challenges you confronted when establishing the corporate?As a tech enterprise, the primary problem is to search out the fitting staff to execute the plan and  perceive the imaginative and prescient and add the wanted inputs, particularly when it’s not your space of experience.  Also, as a self-funded startup, it’s important to spend your funds carefully, along with rigorously allocating your assets. The most difficult half is elevating funds, particularly in a area the place lower than 2 per cent of the funding goes to firms both co-founded by a girl or these led by ladies. This, for my part, has to alter.
What are your future plans?We need to take part within the luxurious resale trade transformation by facilitating secondary market connections and accelerating transactions. We need to make second-hand buying simple and accessible and save prospects time, as they browse a number of websites worldwide. We constructed an MVP (minimal viable product) web site that’s linked to a third-party affiliate administration system, our mainstream of income. Our 5 key companions are globally trusted resellers, together with The Luxury Closet primarily based in Dubai, Lampoo primarily based in Milan and What Goes Around Comes Around primarily based in New York.
 This has laid a superb basis for extra development.
Any ideas for these seeking to purchase second-hand clothes and niknaks?If you’re new to purchasing pre-loved, keep in mind that it doesn’t should be an all-or-nothing scenario. You can start small and step by step enhance your second-hand buying experiences when you get used to the method. It’s additionally pure to proceed to buy new gadgets, which is completely nice, however keep in mind that each used merchandise you purchase is a step in the fitting route.  Before you already know it, you’ll be dwelling a zero-waste way of life or only a regular way of life that prioritises reuse, which can also be acceptable.

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