The world we live in today fears human touch, we strive to be socially distanced and keep our hands to ourselves. In such times, how sure are we that the clothes we buy from thrift stores via Instagram or other websites take the necessary safety measures and precautions while packing pre-loved apparel?
HYDERABAD: 'Dress to kill', the motto of the millennials makes quite a statement in today’s world. Everyone loves a new look, a new dress and the set of compliments that follow. It is almost an honour to be the best dressed in the room.
Recently, the fashion industry took a step towards sustainability and came up with the idea of thrifting. Thrifting means reusing clothes that were loved by a previous owner, but are usually in a good shape to pass it on to a new owner.
People love buying clothes from businesses that promote reused clothes. But keeping the pandemic in mind, how often are we sure that the package from these thrift stores is safe? Today’s world fears human touch, as we strive to be socially distanced and keep our hands to ourselves. In such times, how sure are we that the clothes we buy via Instagram stores or websites take the necessary safety measures while packing pre-loved clothes?
The owners of Blueberry thrift store in Hyderabad, Anuja Kulkarni and Liam Hessing, believe that thrift store owners should invest in safe and basic practices such as washing and dry cleaning. “All items that have been used by previous owners should be cleansed and disinfected before dispatch. This helps in ensuring that the washed item is safe to use in case the previous owner did not handle the piece of clothing with care,” they say.
Kulkarni and Hessing go on to say that wearing gloves while folding, ironing and packing clothes can also be done to ensure the pieces are safe from human touch after washing and until delivered to customers.
Rishita Koruturu and Sowmya Thanam, owners of Resow Thrift, share a few more ideas and tips. According to them, all stores should ensure double packaging, not just thrifts — the main cover and a cover for the clothes, with preferably brown paper as it is eco-friendly. These fashion models-cum-thrift store owners believe that thrifting is the new move towards sustainability as it increases the shelf life of clothes that would have been otherwise discarded. The double packaging helps to ensure that the clothes are safe from human touch and ready to use.
Katriel Vase, one of the owners of Pretty Chic Fits, agrees with Resow Thrift on the idea of delivering packages with utmost safety. The co-owner says, “It would be brilliant if businesses would take an extra step towards being cautious while choosing their delivery partners. Partnering up with services that are cautious and following Covid-19 protocol are required to ensure safety.”
Customers, also known as thrifters, also share their experiences and expectations with CE about shopping from thrift stores. Sonal Ann says, “Reassurance is a must when it comes to any kind of shopping, not just thrifts. However, keeping the pandemic in mind, it would be helpful if they could put up stories and videos of the process on Instagram so that we know about the safety measures being taken.”
However, Kata (name changed on request), an avid thrifter, says that sometimes customers ask too much from small businesses. She says the idea of thrifting is to be sustainable and take measures that are environmentally friendly. According to her, the question of safety should not arise since every business must indulge in basic practices of washing and dry cleaning. She adds that thrift stores should not be the only ones questioned, but even other multinational clothing companies should deliver with safety.
Thrifting in Hyderabad is growing slowly but surely and would soon be a big move towards sustainable living. The Covid-19 pandemic caused problems for many in the world, but it could not stop this business from thriving. The key is simple -- be safe, be cautious and deliver with love.