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CIRCULAR THREADS: Bushey business revolutionises preloved fashion for South Asian market

 Published on: 27th February 2024   |   By: Annabel Stock   |   Category: Uncategorized

This month BUSHEYnews spoke with Anoli Mehta, the brains behind ‘Circular Threads’ a business, based in Bushey, which has revolutionised preloved fashion for the South Asian market.

Anoli Mehta is a Stanmore resident and former management consultant who, like many, found herself sifting through her wardrobe during lockdown. Having attended the weddings of both her sister and brother in the previous year, Anoli’s loft contained a veritable cache of beautiful dresses. The weddings both consisted of five events and each event required a different outfit. Anoli describes the process of buying so many outfits as ‘overwhelming’, ‘stressful’ and ‘very expensive.’ Her bid to find fabulous glad rags even saw her fly all the way to India. She said:

“I went through so much to find dresses which were worn for a matter of hours and then they were just sitting in my loft seemingly never to be worn again. These dresses are big and heavy too and take up a lot of space.”

Anoli was struck by how wasteful it was to let these outfits go on lying untouched and unworn. After doing some research, Anoli found that she was not the only one concerned by the lack of sustainability in South Asian fashion. The ‘astounding’ results showed that while some people were trying to sell their preloved outfits, there just wasn’t a dedicated market of buyers. Those who tried to sell on platforms like Facebook marketplace and eBay, found they had to drop their prices considerably. Anoli turned to her family and together, with their dresses alone, they found they had ‘the bare bones of the business.’

At the end of 2021, Anoli launched ‘Circular Threads’, a platform which allows people to upload preloved South Asian dresses to their platform for free. Uploaders are required to submit details which are then carefully reviewed by the team. Items are handpicked by the team on the basis of a criteria which requires items to be excellent condition, dry-cleaned and without defects. Anoli said:

“The market was a hard one because there has traditionally been a taboo about pre-loved clothing in the South Asian community. Now that market is ready because there has been extensive education on the issue of sustainability.

“Part of our job was to make second-hand clothing desirable. These clothes aren’t the old rags at the back of your wardrobe. In order to shift the perception of preloved, we had to make the experience as close to the purchaser’s usual buying experience.”

Having studied Geography and Economics at LSE, Anoli has a keen interest in sustainability. While she admits starting the business was ‘daunting’, especially considering the sacrifice of her lucrative corporate job, it was her passion to see change which made her take the leap. She said:

“The environmental risks of not doing something to change our shopping habits felt far scarier and damaging than the risk of taking the leap. I’m passionate about the goal and have been prepared from the beginning to do what it takes to make it work.”

The result, Anoli says, is that everyone is a winner. Shoppers get to wear ‘unique, cool and independent’ dresses for half the price they would retail at, and sellers get to recuperate a significant proportion of their costs while experiencing the satisfaction of knowing they will be worn again.

The Circular Threads studio is based at 45 High Street, Bushey, WD231BD. You can find out more on their website: https://www.circular-threads.com/ or follow them on social media at www.instagram.com/circular.threads

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1 Comment

  1. Hemakshi Vara May 3rd, 2024, 1:47 am

    Hi
    I have Silk sarees which have been worn few times only. Is there any calls gor items like this .
    Thank you

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