BENGALURU : Too many clothes, too little funds to help rescue injured strays. What’s the connection, you may ask? Three friends – Rhea Subramanian, Akshaya Maller and Sera Minocher – added two and two to start The Dog Pile Thrift, an Instagram store (@thedogpilethrift) to raise funds to help animals.
Started two months ago in the midst of the pandemic, they find themselves thronged with donation requests, so much so that they’ve had to put them on hold.
“We realised we had an excess of clothes and needed to figure a way to either give them away or control the way where we shop. Every time we’d come across street animals that needed help, we realised the financial strain that came along,” says Subramanian, 28, who runs a two-wheeler dealership.
While Maller is training to be a vet, Minocher works in the CSR division of a multi-national firm.
The trio usually meets twice a week, when they look into logistics. Once they receive donation requests, they select the garments based on the likelihood of sale, after which the outfits are shot, priced, and sent to be laundered.
It’s then put up on Instagram where anyone can order by sending across a direct message.
“Usually, outfits are priced under Rs 1,500 unless they are high-value brands, in which case we make an exception,” she says, adding that they ship across India.
With the raging pandemic, one would assume that pre-owned clothes are viewed with suspicion.
However, Subramanian points out that the market, particularly on social media, is large. “The thrift market is picking up pace rapidly on social media, and there are a number of 19-21 year olds who are getting involved in this. I myself have started shopping thrift and it seems to be the way forward.
I’d rather buy pre-owned clothes, which go through extensive laundry and are in near-perfect condition, rather than going to a store to purchase an outfit which has been tried on by multiple people,” she says. Future plans include opening a physical space, complete with a cafe and events venue, where they can build a pet-friendly community.
“We also want to get into curating the products in a thoughtful way, rather than accepting several donations from one person,” she says.