A brand new online marketplace has just launched in the UAE. Called Bazaara, it allows customers to browse, buy and sell gently used clothes, accessories and even homeware from the comfort of home.
Available as a download app on iTunes, with a Google Play version promised soon, would-be sellers simply upload a photo of the item they wish to sell, direct from their mobile phone, post a description and price, and then sit back and let the app do the rest.
Once the piece is sold, Bazaara will send a courier to collect it and deliver it to the new owner, while the money is electronically transferred.
Buyers can browse through a wide array of one-off clothes and accessories. Aiming to cater to a fashion-hungry audience, while also serving to bolster the circular economy movement, to help prevent the waste of perfectly serviceable clothing, Bazaara co-founder Alyssa Mariano explains the reasoning behind the new launch.
“As we hurtle towards a more digitally-inclined future, I wanted to bring the excitement of finding a steal at the mall or a thrift shop to online shoppers. I also wanted to bring fashion and decor enthusiasts together in a safe and social online community to discover, create, and inspire new trends,” Mariano explains.
“We hope to decrease the impact this industry has on the environment by providing a seamless experience to trade preloved and vintage treasures.”
Designed as a peer-to-peer application, it aims to build a community of people searching for vintage and second hand from the comfort of home, while allowing people to free up cash from unworn, or no longer needed items.
The pre-worn clothes industry is quickly gaining traction, partly fuelled by the economic restraints of the pandemic, but also as statistics on the reality of the wider fashion industry are revealed. In 2017, it is estimated that globally 14 million tonnes of wearable clothes were either buried or burnt.
Surrounded by affordable and easy options, most people own far more clothes than they will ever wear, with an estimated 50 to 80 per cent of clothes never leaving the cupboard. The majority of people wear as little as just 20 per cent of their purchases. To put this in monetary terms, back in 2015, the website Business 2 Community estimated that in the UK alone, the clothes left languishing in wardrobes were worth over $46 billion.
The pre-loved market is healthy and growing in the UAE, and in addition to the new Bazaara app there are a good array of options, ranging from high end to high street. Here are more places to buy pre-loved and vintage items in the Emirates:
Located in an old villa along Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Road, the Garderobe boutique is home to a staggering assortment of pre-owned luxury pieces. Thankfully, things are sorted (online at least) into brands, so if a customer has their heart set on, say, a Louis Vuitton bag, the pieces are divided accordingly. It speeds up the process no end.
Online, it also offers a Shop Edit dropdown, which lists items by useful headings such as Luxury items under Dh2,000, or items from the closet of that well-dressed duo the Dinz sisters, including a fabulous pair of black Carat mules, a steal at Dh310.
The Luxury Closet
The Luxury Closet is another gold mine of pre-loved, high-end fashion, with a huge collection for both men and women, divided into easy to use sections, including a fabulous modest wear edit.
The sale section means some serious bargains are available, including a Dior pink crystal embellished iPhone 6 Case for Dh209 (instead of Dh1,481), while a beautiful strapless Lanvin palm leaf print dress is down from a retail price of Dh11,719.87, to Dh895. The upside of The Luxury Closet is that instalment payment is possible on those bigger purchases, while the downside is that free delivery does not kick in until you spend Dh1,000.
The Luxury Closet, Al Barsha, Dubai; 800 589; theluxurycloset.com
Retold is a boutique in Umm Suqeim area in Dubai, filled with high street and high-end items. Boasting 6,000 pieces in stock – and more added each week – like all good second-hand stores, this needs to be kept under scrutiny until the perfect piece pops up.
The online store has a very easy to navigate website, with just one drop down bar, and everything divided into simple, self-explanatory sections. It even has a fabulous collection of vintage cameras for those in the market for one. The only downside of the site is that when pieces sell, the site does not reorder the images, so sometimes you have to scroll through lots of sold items to find things that are actually available. This can be annoying, but it's worth the work, as there are some truly lovely pieces to be found.
Retold, Umm Suqeim Road, Dubai; 04 297 6777; shopretold.com
Fashion Rerun is a website that offers second-hand high street options for men, women and children. Great for basics such as T-shirts, and simple tops, this is the best place to stock up on wardrobe staples at bargain prices.
Clear information is included on each image, such as size (often in multiple systems), the brand (if known) and the price. Most tops seem to be in the Dh20 to Dh40 price range. Offering both new and second-hand pieces, its so-called "vintage" section has a great selection of graphic T-shirts for giveaway prices.
Fashion Rerun; 04 346 1133; FashionRerun.com