Article: Discovering the Pre-Owned Experience
Discovering the Pre-Owned Experience
I have worked in the retail fashion industry for over 15 years. The brands I worked with launch new styles every week and consequently, I grew accustomed to adapting to new trends rapidly. Being part of such a dynamic industry, I developed a habit of updating my wardrobe almost as swiftly as the launch of new lines. Not knowing what to do with my older styles, I let them accumulate and hog up my wardrobe space till I found someone to give them away to.
In contrast, I would occasionally refresh my collection of luxury handbags that had designer labels on them. It had always been a treat to indulge in a new handbag purchase from a boutique. Such revelry was reserved for special occasions and I ended up extending the usage of a bag way beyond that style’s seasonal fashion cycle. The reasons were obvious – the cost of buying a new handbag or a pair of shoes at a boutique.
These personal experiences are at two opposite ends of the spectrum. While speaking at business forums, I fathomed that the burgeoning younger generation of society is displaying increasing affinity towards pre-owned products like furniture and even consumer electronics. Aspirational values and the desire to upgrade to a superior experience have been key drivers of this evolution in mindset.
It was now time to reflect and look back at my experiences. How could I don a new look more often that what I had been doing? Buying a new creation like a piece of jewelry or a scarf at a boutique is great but could I fuel my desires without breaking the bank?
One would think that the story would end here, but not quite!! I must admit that the thought of buying pre-owned luxury products had never crossed my mind till then. These items are far more personal than furniture or consumer electronics and I wondered if any fashionista out there would be comfortable with the notion of carrying a pre-owned bag?
I was met with rave opinions when I started popping this thought-provoking question to folks and quickly realized that there is a blistering need for bringing luxury out of the ambit of a select few.
Maybe it comes down to the rarity of scoring a classic fashion accessory that is in good condition for a little more than picking up a new bag from a high street fashion brand, a budding millennial population seems to be breaking the snooty luxury fashion stereotype and are increasingly cool with pre-loved luxury fashion.
I then bombarded myself with a barrage of questions. Why should luxury be lying around locked up and unused in wardrobes? These are durable products; how can we extend their usage? People did not even know of credible avenues that they could use to declutter their wardrobes and make way for new indulgences. Why would anyone trust the authenticity of someone else’s coveted pre-loved products?
It was clear by now that the broader millennial shift in mindset is permeating the pre-owned luxury industry to drive a change in consumer behavior. The growth engine of the pre-owned luxury segment is this generational shift. I began to see a significant growth potential in the years ahead.
Stitching together all these reflections, thoughts, learnings and experiences, led to the founding of The Plush Posh. At The Plush Posh, we are creating an expanded outreach to buyers and sellers of new and pre-owned luxury via our online avenue, building trust through our promise of verified authentic pre-owned luxury. We make new and pre-owned authenticated luxury products accessible to a wider target audience, thereby extending the usage life cycle of products, in a quest for sustainability.