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Rehoming is cool

Updated: Mar 4


Vyshnavi in a thrifted wear.


Vyshnavi Gudivada formed a What’s App thrift group which has some 500 members selling and buying preloved stuff. They all agree to ‘Save planet. Save money’.

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What inspired you to start a thrifting group?

I felt that a lot of us use things only once and choose not to repeat, especially clothes. There seems to be this unspoken rule that people musn’t repeat wearing them. Which leads us to buy new stuff frequently. That’s not a sustainable idea. Also, what’s the point of merely stocking the stuff we don’t plant to use? Clothes like sarees damage when they are not used for long. Rehoming them is a better thing to do. It saves the planet, reduces the amount of trash that goes to the landfill, and also saves money.

Even when I was a child, whenever I heard the phrase ‘buy cheap and best’, I wondered if that was how we must consume things. I thought it was better to buy good stuff and take good care of them. And then how about rehoming them?


In which year did you start the group?

In 2019. I had been thinking of forming a group like that since 2017.


Then why the delay?

Back then I was 17. I thought there was nobody like me who would want to thrift stuff. But it turned out that most people around me wanted to do the same thing.


You have been thrifting for some years now. You spoke of the pros. Are there cons as well?

There are. Sometimes, some people lie about for how long they have used a stuff. That is about the concept of thrifting. When we speak of the group, at times there are people who join the group saying they believe in thrifting, but then they collect the data and sell them away.  And then there are those who share links that could be hacking links. Therefore, I am vigilant and I carry out regular checks.


How about the hygiene of things?

People have to be mindful and both the buyer/seller must wash the stuff thoroughly before selling/using. At times, make up related products can have issues. So, the buyers must know what they are buying.


Vyshnavi, nobody around you comments about the fact that you buy pre-used stuff? It’s derogatory in the Indian context.

I have not faced a single such comment. May be because I only have like-minded people around me. In fact, my male friends also follow thrifting. Yes, but I do understand the space you are speaking from. When I was a child, we were not so well off and that time we shared this mentality. However, in later years as we became more self-sufficient, these things stopped mattering to us. People from lower economic background will have a problem buying thrift fashion. However, those from the opposite background are proud. I know of a lot of people with high purchasing power who hob-nob with celebrities and they choose to buy thrift fashion, saying that comfort of wearing a used and washed piece of clothing is higher. We all agree that it’s cool to save the planet and save money.  


Can you tell of your thrift possessions?

I have a lot of thrifted clothes. I recently bought lingerie from the group. It was new and a wrong fit to the girl who sold it to me. Then I also own a thrifted Apple watch, furniture, and skin care stuff.


Which is your favorite of them all?

My Ikea table. And this pair of jeans that I recently thrifted. It was originally for Rs 3,500 and I bought them for Rs 600. I had been looking for that pair for the last 6 years, but I didn’t want to spend that high amount.


Do you also gift thrift stuff?

Depends on who I am gifting to. If the person is comfortable with thrift, I do. I gifted a handbag to a friend of mine who I knew would appreciate. I told her that I had used the bag for some time.

 

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