Until very recently only hipsters and ‘environmental alarmists’ were thought to shop at Op shops and flea markets. ‘Thrifting’ conjured up an image of a Basantapur night market type street bazaar with rejected old clothes. But things are changing.
As more and more people realise that thrifting is the greenest (and cheapest) way to shop, the market is responding. ThredUP, the world’s largest online second-hand retailer allows you to order your favourite styles from high street as well as designer brands at less than 90% the retail price. Whats more – they have none other than the crown princess of ethical fashion Emma Watson endorsing them.
In Singapore online/offline store Refash is changing the game. They offer styles and accessories from Louis Vuitton to Kate Spade and have successful physical stores at 9 locations in the city, including the fanciest of malls like Orchard Gateway.
Stroll through Melbourne’s chic Chapel Street and you’ll see Secondo, a recycle and consignment boutique that makes pre-loved look sexy.
But we’re here to talk about Nepal. Thrifting, Sharing, Swapping have always sort of been a part of our culture, hasn’t it? But inevitably as the surge of commercialism has engulfed the capital and other smaller cities, disposable income has grown, people want to buy more and own more. We’re slowly but surely moving away from the shared-economy culture.
If you’re still reading this, you do want to thrift, and I’m here to help. Here’s how you can thrift like a pro in Nepal and minimise your Fashion Footprint.
- GARAGE SALE AT U CAFE, KTM – U CAFE in Bakhundole (Patan) has been consistently organising garage sales every month or so. You can buy everything from backpacks and hiking boots to books and cocktail dresses. Follow the U Cafe Facebook page, and keep and eye out for the next one. I got my gorgeous cashmere sweater here for Rs.400. Yep, 400. Condition 4.8/5 !
- EKANTAKUNA (PATAN) THRIFT SHOPS – Head towards Ring Road from Ekantakuna and you will see a bunch of stores with clothes piled up. These are second hand stores. If you really look, you can find some good stuff at unbelievable prices. Think sweater for Rs.100 !
- NUTRAL STYLE THRIFT STORE – Nutral is a gender neutral thrift store in Patan. They do sell a lot of colourful socks that are apparently new, but they also carry a good collection of clothes. Worth a look.
- BYEE.SANNA INSTAGRAM STORE – OK So fashion influencer Sanna (@hii.sanna) pretty much deserves the credit for starting the Instagram thrifting trend in Nepal. I know most influencers promote the opposite of sustainability, but Sanna started selling some of her outfits on her page, and more importantly encouraged others to do the same using the hashtag #byeesanna. Now the hashtag has over 2500 posts.
5. MYAMAWORETHAT INSTAGRAM STORE – This store sells hand picked vintage/non-vintage clothing from high end as well as high street brands. Think wind cheater jacket from YSL and handkerchiefs from Burberry (yes hankies, they’re pretty cool).
6. DOHORAN.NEPAL INSTAGRAM STORE – One word – SARIS ! This is not only the most well curated insta thrift store in Nepal, it sells ethnic as well as casual outfits. Check it out.
7. Other Instagram stores – There are a LOT of other Instagram stores. You can’t follow them all so i suggest following the hashtag #byeesanna on instagram for the latest. There’s @thrift_mandu and @thrift.thrift.baby , to name a few that I’ve shopped from.
BEWARE!!!! – Some of the online accounts are using the thrifting trend to sell new stuff (they’re actual fast fashion stores). You should be able to tell from the pictures if the seller is a store or a person, and also ask the seller how many times its used, why they’re selling it, etc. Some posts say ‘brand new’ or ‘never used’. Consider this a red flag.
I know this list is very KTM-centric. If you know of more thrift stores in your city, please leave in comment!