The second-hand market is growing fast globally and the model is slowly gaining interest in Asia as well.
It is no secret that collector’s pieces and accessories are the most popular items for the second-hand market, however, we recently come across a concept for kidswear.
Thinking it through, kids grow fast and clothes can only be used for a short period of time. On the other hand, more and more luxury brands have been developing kidswear collections at prices similar to their parents’ collections if not higher. Retykle addresses parents’ needs for reselling those items but also having access to luxury products for their kids at lower prices.
Retail in Asia had the pleasure to interview Sarah Garner, Founder of Retykle, about her second-hand kidswear business focused on designer children’s brands.
SEE ALSO : Gap to enter resale market
Watch the video and learn the story behind the online platform, Retykle.
RiA: We have seen more and more attention towards kidswear from fashion brands usually releasing collections for their parents. Is this trend reflected in your platform?
Sarah: We carry over 2000 designer brands and many of them also have an adult line -Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Dior, Hermes, Burberry, Stella McCartney and many others. We have a Mom & Me collection on the site but we dominantly carry kids & maternity fashion.
Many of our customers like to coordinate their looks with their kids so they tend to buy in line with their own personal preferences and tastes.
RiA: As you are gathering a lot of data, what are the major trends in terms of kidswear?
Sarah: There are top performing brands in kidswear which we can see from the amount of supply in the secondhand market – Bonpoint, Jacadi, Ralph Lauren, Petit Bateau and Seed Heritage.
We have the most supply in the newborn to 6 years old ages because kids grow fastest during this stage and new parents tend to receive a lot of gifts so end up with more clothing in the early years.
Moncler always gets snapped up very fast when we list as they do not discount in their stores so it is rare to be able to find the brand at a discount.
In footwear, Vans, Doc Martens and Golden Goose are popular trend items. In terms of category, dresses are consistently our best sellers.
RiA: How does your platform work in terms of authentication of the goods?
Sarah: We inspect all items before listing them and guarantee condition & authenticity.
First QC is the person who unpacks the items and does the initial sort of accepted/not accepted based on age, brand, condition and authenticity standards. Second QC is under the photography lights which may present other undetected defects and items that do not pass will not be photographed. Third QC is with the person uploading the products who may detect something that does not meet our standards. Fourth QC is during picking & packing. If products do not meet this final check, they will not be sent in the package and customers will be offered suggested alternatives or refunded.
We ensure that our products meet expectations and as such, have maintained a very low 3% return rate.
We know which brands are subject to counterfeits and we have multi point checks for those brands to ensure that all elements are in line with authenticity standards – such as zippers, buttons, brand marks, stitching etc.
There are a handful of brands that are subject to counterfeits in the kids space vs the women’s and accessories which is rife with fakes. Out of 2000 brands on our platform, these is a small segment of approximately twelve brands that are sensitive to counterfeiting.
We have a manual that tracks counterfeits with photo examples as references for what to watch for to identify counterfeits. We offer 100% authenticity guarantees to customers. We are very confident in our abilities to weed out counterfeits. We also have a warning system for sellers whereby we contact them to let them know that their items couldn’t be authenticated and offer them an opportunity to produce a validation of purchase. We then flag them as a seller who has provided us with counterfeits and we have a one strike policy to ensure that we don’t engage with repeat offenders.
RiA: What’s your business model and how is it evolving?
Sarah: We are an online consignment platform for buying and selling kids & maternity fashion. We are evolving into new verticals such as gear, layering in more B2B options to partner with brands for off-price inventory and partnerships to increase the participation in secondhand as well as exploring how we can further our efforts to become more circular and use clothing waste as an input for value creation.
RiA: Have you seen any impact on your business due to Covid-19?
Sarah: Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we have benefitted from the macro factors that have ensued. There has been a shift online so we saw a lift from that search and discovery, as everyone becomes more acutely aware of the economic impacts they start to evaluate where they can save so our every day discounts are attractive and there’s been an accelerated shift towards seeking sustainable lifestyle changes and of course with everyone spending more time at home, it’s a good time to clean out closets and earn a little extra from the items you no longer need. Retykle has proven to be Covid/recession proof particularly because kids keep growing!
RiA: What’s next for Retykle?
Sarah: We have much further to grow in Hong Kong and are also looking to open new markets in the coming months to eventually bring Retykle to parents across the globe.
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RiA: Adults shop second-hand for vintage pieces, limited collections, more collectors’ pieces, do you see that in the kidswear world as parents are your customers?
Sarah: We see coveted items in kidswear but it’s not quite the same as collectors items in womenswear. There are certainly keepsakes particularly designer baby shoes i.e. Hermes, Dior etc and often the most cherished items are those that hold special memories. Passing them on to another family who will get to enjoy them as much as you did is part of the joy that comes from passing items on to another family through Retykle.