Try pre-loved couture with Saritoria

An outfit listed on Saritoria  

The pandemic and our lifestyle changes have forced people to be waste-cognizant. Fashion and its consumption, particular, are on everyone’s radar. One of the reasons why Instagram is filled with thrift and pre-loved stores, rental services are growing en masse, and Indian designer brands such as Pero, Doodlage and Doh Tak Keh are making upcycling au courant.

The latest venture in this space is Saritoria, envisioned by fashion entrepreneur Pernia Qureshi (who previously ran the e-commerce website, Pernia’s Pop Up Shop), and husband-wife duo Omar Soomro and Shehlina Soomro (a marketing and business development manager at a London hedge fund). A first-of-its-kind global marketplace to buy and sell pre-loved South Asian luxury designer pieces, the website showcases pieces from designers such as Sabyasachi, Anamika Khanna, and Tarun Tahiliani, among others, with sellers logging in from Patiala to Tamil Nadu. The pieces are checked for authenticity and quality by a team of experts (based in Mumbai and London), before being listed for a percentage. There is also a concierge service that offers to take care of everything from cleaning, photoshoots, to listing an account.

Pernia Qureshi

Pernia Qureshi  

Edited excerpts from an interview:

What is Saritoria’s USP beyond the sustainability tag?

Qureshi: No matter how well off the shopper is, everyone enjoys a good deal. Saritoria’s USP is one-of-a-kind pieces. For instance, designers Abu-Sandeep used a beautiful mint green colour in one of their previous collections, which is not available in stores anymore. However, we have a lehenga from that collection on the site. There are so many events in a year and it doesn’t make sense to invest heavily every single time. This way you can build a designer wardrobe in a cost conscious manner.

The price points are premium. One would assume your customers can buy new designer wear.

Shehlina: The products are offered at significantly discounted prices. We are encouraging our customers to spend the same amount [as they would for a new piece] to invest in luxury pieces that can be re-used and re-sold. Shopping pre-loved lets you access pieces from previous seasons, even vintage items.

Outfits from Saritoria

Outfits from Saritoria  

How has the response been so far?

Shehlina: The first sale happened within two minutes of the website going live — [an Anamika Khanna outfit] to a customer in Tamil Nadu. We have had orders from countries such as Australia, and requests to list from the US and Canada. [Though] we haven’t yet targeted the male customer, we are receiving amazing items across multiple generations for men.

Shehlina Soomro

Shehlina Soomro  

Currently there is only one XXL piece on the website. Are there plans to make it more size-inclusive?

Shehlina: We believe in size inclusivity and have quite a number of L and XL pieces. Ultimately, however, the platform is open to anyone in the South Asian community to sell the sizes they own.

What are the best practices to store couture?

Qureshi: The best way to store couture is to fold it delicately and wrap it in mulmul, which is soft and breathable. That’s how my mum and I store all of our vintage pieces inherited from my grandmum. We keep them in trunks, but it is important to take them out from time to time and air them.

Price between ₹3,000 and ₹60,000,

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 5:29:05 PM |

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