◎ 慢－人語 | Retrovert 店主雅蓉：以創意拉近二手衫與主流快時尚的距離
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若有人今日送你一袋二手衫，你會有甚麼感覺？本地二手服裝品牌 Retrovert 的店主黃雅蓉(Tiffany) 說，一般港人總把二手物品，與「破舊、無用」劃上等號，而 Retrovert 的出現，正是想打破這個錯誤的認知。
「我哋想將每件舊衫 Rebrand。想著得時尚唔一定要買新衫，著大牌子。只要用心去配搭，你都可以為舊衫賦予新嘅價值。」Retrovert 專頁的相片，每輯相都特意找模特兒、攝影師擺拍，不看專頁介紹，驟眼不覺是二手服裝店。
☖ Retrovert | 二手衫平台 推動循環經濟
Instagram ： https://www.instagram.com/retrovert.hk/?hl=en
Creativity could shorten the distance between second-hand clothing and fast fashion in mainstream
How would you feel when a friend gives you a bag of second-hand clothes? Tiffany, the owner of Retrovert, a local second-hand clothing brand, said that in general, Hong Kong people always equate second-hand clothes with "shabby and useless", and the appearance of Retrovert is to break this misconception.
“Those who have the habit of purchasing clothes will know that throwing a cloth does not mean that it has problems. It may only be because of the change in our dressing style or different physical conditions,” she said.
Tiffany said that she didn't like the fast fashion culture very much since she was studying Anthropology at CUHK. She read about how the fashion industry caused environmental pollution and exploitation of labor. Meanwhile, her family members love to buy clothes to release stress. "My Mum is always buying a lot even though our home doesn't have space! " She couldn't help shouting, "I'm so contemptuous at that time! This culture sucks!"
She added, "When I grow up, I understand some people may want to dress up for a good look and make themselves happy. But we could try to consume more responsibly, instead of buying new clothes every season and throwing the old ones away."
Tiffany went to Sweden for an exchange three years ago. She found that the size of the local second-hand clothing store there is comparable to that of general chain clothing stores. The decoration is clean and bright, without any unpleasant smell. Some foreign friends were surprised when she said Hong Kong didn’t have such a culture.
She secretly told herself, "Hong Kong should have something similar!" When she returned to Hong Kong, she started setting up a second-hand clothing platform at school. After graduation, she continued the plan and established the brand Retrovert to sell second-hand clothes on social platforms. The store located in Mong Kok was opened last July.
Reduce the distance between second-hand clothes and fast fashion
‘We already have enough good clothes. Reuse them.’ Tiffany said second-hand clothes are not necessarily old and outdated. Sometimes they are forgotten by the donor somewhere in the closet. They are reluctant to throw their new clothes into landfills, and some people are even reluctant to donate their clothes. They just hope to find a good owner for the clothes, so that the life of the clothes could be suspended.
"We want to rebrand the second-hand culture. If you want to be fashionable, you don't have to buy new cloth, from a big brand. As long as you mix and match, you could add new value to the old clothes."
After receiving clothes from donors, Tiffany will look for models and photographers to take stylish photos. She always does story sales and lives on social platforms. The entire marketing methods are no different from general online stores. One of the problems of running a second-hand store is storage.
To reduce the hoarding of goods, Retrovert held three "All you can purchase" fairs, allowing customers to go directly to the warehouse. With 200 HKD as the admission fee, each person can get a bag. As much as you pack, you can take home as much as you like. The response to the event was excellent, and it was done season after season.
She believes that in the new era, problems can be solved through creativity and reshaping old impressions.
Let second-hand clothes become the mainstream trend
Tiffany observed that there are more and more second-hand clothes stores in the market recently: "Physical stores, small online stores, and even some people will open a special page on IG to sell the clothes that they don't wear." The most important thing is that there are more choices, and it is more convenient for consumers.
‘This is absolutely a good signal,’ She said with a smile, ‘It means that the market is getting bigger, and the concept of second-hand shirts is more popular as compared to when our store first opened three years ago.’
"It's really good! Everyone throws away a lot of clothes every season, we could not handle all the stuff. When more and more people join, second-hand clothes could become the mainstream someday."
If you want to change the community, you don't need to wait for others' leadership. You can start with your own daily life. Let’s have our tiny steps forward.
☖ Retrovert | Second-hand shirt platform promotes circular economy