By NASA MARIA ENTABAN
NADZIRAH Hashim and her sister Diyana love shopping, and both admit to having overstuffed closets.
Over the years they have amassed a pretty substantial amount of clothing, accessories, bags and shoes and like many fashion enthusiasts, stored these items away until they could figure out what to do with them. That is, until they decided to start Friendly Fashion.
Friendly Fashion is a website where users can sell, swap or give away “pre-loved” fashion items like clothes, accessories and shoes.
“I have too many clothes,” says Nadzirah, 26. “You’d be surprised how much stuff you can accumulate in a month or two. Some items you might just use once or twice only!”
When this happens, what becomes of your clothes? Most of the time, they end up sitting in your closet collecting dust or growing mould and eventually, they get thrown away.
“So, we thought – let’s be a bit more conscious about our clothing and the amount of waste one accumulates, and recycle your clothing,” says Nadzirah.
“You don’t realise how many clothes you don’t wear anymore; some are even in perfect condition!”
With Friendly Fashion, the sisters hope to encourage the expansion of pre-loved culture in Malaysia and reduce waste when it comes to apparel.
The site, launched two months ago, already has over 200 members from all over Malaysia who are interested in selling, swapping and buying pre-loved items.
What Nadzirah loves most about the site is that the user demographics is so diverse, just about anyone can find something for themselves, whether they’re a size XXS or XXL.
“There’s a wide range of things, and it’s easy to search for specific items. Of course, it depends on how much detail the user puts into describing the item, too,” says Nadzirah.
On Friendly Fashion you can type out keywords like “zippers” or “buttons” and any colour you can think of to help you find your item of choice.
“There are a lot of pre-loved blogshops but it can be a little hard to find them, so we thought why not give individuals a platform for this, but also link people to these blogshops and websites as well,” explains Nadzirah.
“It’s just to make your life more convenient, so you don’t have to search for blogshops.”
Another appeal to Friendly Fashion is that it is completely free. When bazaars come into question, one has to rent physical space in the bazaar and sit there for hours without any guarantee that anyone will buy your items.
“Right now, you have to wait for a bazaar to happen before you can sell your stuff. We don’t take a cut from any sales, and delivery is handled by the buyers and sellers,” notes Nadzirah. “Our job is to moderate the site, maintain a certain quality to the pictures and step in should there be any problem between users.”
There are no set rules to putting your items on the site – but Nadzirah believes most people will be able to use common sense when setting prices and uploading photos to the site.
“Most people will sell their clothes if they’ve worn it, say, two to five times. If you’ve worn something more than 30 times, you can sell it, but sell it cheap or give it away for free,” she advises.
She admits that so far the biggest challenge has been getting good quality photos, and, making sure users don’t use photos they’ve taken from other websites.
“People can be lazy. It’s not fair to those who are putting in the effort to take their own photos, so when this happens we send them a message and tell them in a ‘friendly’ way not to do it.
“Also, the better the photo, the more appealing it is to buyers,” says Nadzirah.
Apart from women’s apparel, shoes and accessories, the site also has sections for baby clothes, men’s clothes and clothes for your pets.
“At the end of the day we want our community to participate and interact with each other, apart from the swapping and selling, there’s a lot of fun stuff going on like sharing inspiring content and discussions on trends and style,” she adds.
* Check the site out at www.friendlyfashion.my. They also have a Facebook page under the same name.