IS THRIFTING THE NEW COOL? We talk to Ruchi Sangma

Meet 26 years old fashion enthusiast and fashion recycler Ruchi Sangma

When did you start thrifting and what got you interested? 

Ruchi: We (me and my friend Soshan Luikham) have been thrifting for about 10 years now. I studied fashion and wanted to be a part of it in the longer run. We started thrifting because thrifting was affordable. Because of our design background, we found a way to make it our own by customizing it. Currently we thrift from Meghalaya and Manipur

Who are your clients? 

Ruchi: Our ideal clients would be people who are not afraid of trying new styles. Ideally, people who believe in a more sustainable way of standing out in fashion. All our pieces are one of a kind as there’s only one piece of every design. Some of our pieces which got a lot of love we made 2 to 3 pieces.

Who is your style icon? 

Ruchi: Rihanna. She has been fashion-forward since day one. However, she has her own unique voice and style even in this big and super competitive world of fashion. Even with her brand Fenty, every piece looks like it is pulled out from her personal wardrobe, it is something we really admire and are inspired by.

For those interested in thrifting, can you share some tips? 

Ruchi: The key is to look for pieces/products that are in good condition and made out of good materials. So you can customise without ruining the piece. Also, find a style and aesthetic that is unique to you as a seller, you don’t want to look like a wholesale reseller, and also, your clients know exactly what to expect from you, and they come to you for your aesthetics.

"The White puffer jacket was a long sleeve jacket with a hoodie with stains at the bottom and on the sleeves. We removed the sleeves and the hoodie and made it into a puffer vest that also gave it a sporty and edgy look. We like the fact that it can be worn by both men and women."
"The black shirt had a weird silhouette so we cropped it and gave a scalloped hem to give it an identity that is currently in trend. It can also be styled for all kind of weather."
"We loved the gangster/hood vibe of the leather jacket and the fact that the material is so good. We didn't want to change anything about it. It was perfect the way it was."

Tell us how you customise your thrifted pieces? 

We try to use upcycled fabrics along with a little bit of new fabric to make it look its best and give it a new style aesthetic. By redesigning the pieces we gave them a new identity. We kept in mind current trends so our customers can have the best of both: sustainable + trendy.

 

Given your experience, what do you predict of the vintage/thrifting/resell market in India? 

Do you think 2021 going to be a good year for reselling, thrifting, vintage? “As long as people get unique, quality fashion at an affordable price, and at the same time they feel they are not doing direct damage to the environment it will only grow. 2020 saw a lot of new people get introduced to the world of thrifting, whether it is the buying or the selling, even brands like Nike, Levis etc are now pushing reselling of their vintage/old pieces, it’s been a great year. It can only grow from here.

 

Is Instagram your main platform to reach your customers? What are your plans for expansion? 

Yes, Instagram is right now our only platform, and it works for us. We have bigger plans for rush. We will move to a webstore once we expand our audience.

 

How close is sustainability to your heart and is that one of the reasons to start what you do? 

Sustainability is very close to our heart as the world has come to a place where there’s no going back and climate change is so real. And one of the biggest damage caused to it is by the fashion world. We are happy that we can be a part of fashion while doing our bit.

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