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Clothing Items’ Stories Get RETOLD

Fashion, Green

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April 7, 2020, 8:07 am

Over the last 10 years, Dubai has established itself as a globally recognised destination for retail tourism, claiming the role of number one shopping destination in the world, according to CBRE. For Dubai, tourism will remain a key revenue driver for the economy, especially with Expo2020 on the horizon, the ‘World’s Greatest Show’ is expected to attract at least 25 million visitors.

Elsewhere in the world, the fashion landscape sees a mix of large international brands that range from luxury, mid-range, and value-price points; independent brands and emerging designers; and ‘resale’. In fact, ‘resale’ accounts for up to 20% of fashion retail in markets like the USA, the UK, Scandinavia, and Europe. Here in the UAE, it’s less than 0.01%!


Why is ‘resale’ important?

Every year, 150 billion items of clothing are manufactured, and 150 billion items end up in landfills – 28 pieces of clothing per minute. Needless to say, this huge consumption has far-reaching negative environmental and socio-economic impacts. The fashion industry is essentially broken. Research shows that the average person today buys 60% more items of clothing than they did 15 years ago. The younger generations have a completely different mindset to previous generations. Results from a survey taken in the UK shows that one in three young women consider clothes ‘old’ after wearing them only once or twice, and one in seven consider it a ‘fashion faux-pas’ to be photographed in an outfit twice. This is one of the side effects of the rise in social media becoming such an integral part of our daily lives.  The growth of ‘fast fashion’ brands has created a truly disposable fashion industry.

However, there are some solutions making waves, namely rental, resale, and refurbishment business models that lengthen a product’s lifecycle while satisfying the consumers desire for ‘newness’.  It allows for variety, sustainability and affordability – all key decision triggers for consumers.

RETOLD is one of Dubai’s leading shopping destinations for pre-owned and sustainable fashion, fronted by their 3,000 sq ft boutique on Umm Sequim Road. Sian Rowlands founded RETOLD in January 2018, built the consignment model based on inspiration from other cities around the world, after having tested the concept in the local market since 2011. Together with her team, they have built a conscious, mindful community to which they have rehomed over 20,000 items and saved their customers over 10,000,000AED! The store displays over 8,000 pre-owned items from the hugely popular high-street (fast fashion) brands to lust-worthy designer and luxury labels, and almost 20% of the products stocked still have their original tags and packaging. As it is a consignment model, there is a constant turnover of stock, so even the most regular customers will always find new arrivals on each visit.


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