The Change Maker breathing new life into old clothes

  • 29/07/2022
  • Sponsored by - Dell

Think of thrift shopping and chances are it's your local op shop that first comes to mind, not an online shopping platform. 

But one local company is now hoping to change that, by combining the magic of thrift shopping with the convenience of online shopping - and it's all in a bid to encourage more people to move away from fast fashion and embrace a circular economy.

& Again was founded just over a year and a half ago by Wendy Quach. The 26-year-old says she was inspired to launch the business after moving back to New Zealand from the UK. Forced to get rid of many of her clothes when she made the move, she was faced with the conundrum of not wanting to throw out the items but lacking the motivation to go through the rigmarole of selling them online. 

Realising that she probably wasn't the only one in this situation, Quach then threw herself into creating a service that would fill the niche, and & Again was born.

Having worked with software and technology in the UK, starting the company also allowed Quach to combine two of her interests.

"Being [involved in] software and tech my whole life I always wanted to bring that kind of passion for digitalisation and tech into something I also really loved, which was fashion. So it was really combining the two and it just felt kind of perfect," she says.

The Change Maker breathing new life into old clothes
Photo credit: Supplied

The business also coincided with Quach's "own sustainability journey" and her growing awareness of the negative effects of the fast-fashion industry.

As well as having an ethos of encouraging a circular economy, Quach says the goal of & Again is to open up the magic of second-hand shopping to clothes lovers who may not have the time to actually go and sift through countless op shop racks by offering customers a modern online shopping experience.

The platform is equally geared toward buyers who want to find some funky threads at a thrift shop price and those who want to clear out their wardrobe without simply dumping their old clothes in a charity bin not knowing where they will end up.

People wishing to sell their items through the platform order a "Tidy Kit", which they can then fill up with around 25-30 items and send back to the company. Quach and her team then sort through and price the clothes and post them online, with sellers receiving a percentage of each item sold. They can then choose to get that money paid back in cash, use it as credit on the website to buy other items or have the funds donated directly to charity. 

By taking away the hassle of posting items online, dealing directly with buyers and shipping the items, Quach hopes to make it as easy as possible for people to breathe fresh life into clothing that is just sitting around accumulating dust.

The Change Maker breathing new life into old clothes
Photo credit: Supplied

"It's creating a way for us to easily recycle our wardrobe."

Quach says the feedback from sellers has been "nothing but positive", with many people saying "it's the best feeling ever, just dumping [their clothes] all into a bag, sending it to someone and knowing that someone on the other end is still actively selling this stuff."

Buyers have also loved having the chance to experience the joy of thrifting from the comfort of their own home.

"Most of the feedback has been really around the ease of it - how easy, how affordable and just how accessible it is," she says. "Not everyone has the time to go and thrift and go to a store and spend three hours trying to look for the perfect item.

"It's really shopping without the guilt of buying fast fashion."

This article was created for Dell.