Consumer Issues
Websites selling second-hand branded apparel mushroom
Buying pre-owned things - be it an electronic gadget, furniture or vehicle - has seen a rising number of takers
 
Frame one: a pretty designer dress sits in the closet for ages, having outlived its owner's fancy. Frame two: a young girl desires a designer outfit, but her salary won't just let her splurge in the store. Now bring the two together; if the second girl could buy the first girl's little-worn dress at half the price, it's a happy scene for both. This is precisely what an increasing number of websites reselling second-hand luxury brands are doing - and are finding eager queues of customers.
 
Buying pre-owned things - be it an electronic gadget, furniture or vehicle - has seen a rising number of takers. There is of course a hesitation of buying something that has been used, but people are getting over it, as an actor in one of the ads on buying a second-hand bike says: "It may be pre-owned, but for us it's new."
 
Practicality is overtaking all biases.
 
Of course, clothes are more personal, and buying pre-owned clothes is not everybody's cup of tea. But for college-going youngsters and those freshly employed who are very conscious about keeping up with the fast-changing trends in fashion, this works out perfectly.
 
"I know my mother won't be comfortable with the idea of me wearing a pre-owned piece of clothing, but I don't have any such mental block. For a college-goer like me who lives on a tight budget, fitting the frequent eating-out, movies, and shopping is a challenge. So if I get a designer dress from a brand like Zara or Mango at half the price, I would love it," says Animikha Sharma, a Delhi-based student.
 
Rekinza, one such online platform for branded, second-hand women's apparel, is capitalising on this precise flexible mindset that people, mostly youngsters, have. It sources its products from women across India who don't want a piece of clothing any more, and then puts it up for sale at a fraction of the original price.
 
"Of course, we first put the item (that we source) through a rigorous triple quality and authenticity check before putting it up for sale. Besides looking at the stitching, fabric and finishing of the product, finer details such as the label, country of manufacture and other signage on the items to determine authenticity are also accounted for," Rekinza co-founder Vidisha Pasari told IANS.
 
"Additionally, for our luxury items, Rekinza has tied up with a third party in the US to provide authentication certificates," she added. The products which are either new, or new-like, are priced at 50-70 percent off their retail price. The seller quotes the price - "imagine making money on stuff you have used" - and the online platform through which you sell it takes a commission of 15-25 percent.
 
Elanic is yet another app-based platform to sell and buy pre-owned apparel, including clothes, books, sports goods, electrical appliances, and kids' stuff. Aditi Rohan, co-founder of this platform, says that the transaction rate since the beginning of its journey has been phenomenal.
 
Bangalore-based Shruti Bora, who has started an online initiative of a similar nature on her own, says it's the perfect way to "recycle your wardrobe. Mine is a small platform where I have put up most of my little-used stuff on sale. They are in perfect condition, and for some reason were not used more than once or twice...either I was bored, or didn't fit in any more, or realised that it didn't suit me after all! Only my friends and some of their friend know of this at the moment; so the credibility part is taken care of," she said.
 
What is interesting is that apart from the youngsters, those in their 40s are also emerging as potential consumers of this hugely-expanding market. "We have seen a growing interest among the 40-plus segment. This shows a shift in the consumer mindset," said Pasari, whose site boasts of both Indian designer brands and international ones.
 
Is this then the answer to most women's all-time woe "of an overflowing closet and yet nothing to wear". Tricky, but for now, it has definitely addressed many a girl's fantasy of a new closet in tune with the changing trends.

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Sikkim assumes leadership role in organic farming
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday lauded Sikkim's effort to become an organic state. Any which way you look at it, Sikkim has assumed leadership in organic agriculture. The rest of the country will have to follow suit.
 
Years of toil and leadership has made this happen. The people of Sikkim, the farmers, agriculturists, bureaucrats and politicians have all played their part in this great Sikkimese narrative. 
 
One must commend Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking a look at the great potential of this venture. He has found it to be a significant public policy move that can transform the agriculture policy within the rest of India. Little wonder then that he addressed a meeting of all agriculture ministers of the Indian states to push home the point of going organic. 
 
Everyone is aware that the Himalayas serves the Indo-Gangetic plains as well as the Assam ecosystem by just sending down water through its myriad rivers. It also extends much needed replenishment of fertile top soil carved out from the mountains. 
 
Climate change may actually disrupt this entire process. The rivers are going to be seasonal as more and more warming will lead to drying up of the important glaciers and permafrost. Loss of biodiversity all across the Himalaya will prove very costly for the nation.
 
The entire Himalayan ecosystem is under threat from climate change and global warming. We have signs of that even as our farmers are reporting that oranges are better off in higher altitudes than before. And so many such like empirical evidences that are discussed in different settings. 
 
In order to combat and delay the problems of ecosystem services from the Himalayas, the remedy will be to start with organic farming. Let the entire Himalayan belt get into farming the way it was done traditionally but with much more scientific inputs and understanding.
 
This will change the way we all think of farming and getting our food. Food security will once more move into the hands of farmers rather than remain in the clutches of politicians and bureaucrats.
 
The prime minister's deep dive into sustainability will have the overtones of the global understanding of sustainable development. The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) writes on Sustainable Development Goal #2: "Organic agriculture supports and enhances ecologically sound systems of food production that can achieve food security by increasing and stabilising yields, improving resistance to pests and diseases, and battling poverty through reducing debt incurred by the purchase of expensive chemical inputs."
 
How significant is this can be fathomed by the keen interest that Sikkim's organic journey is being viewed all over the world.
Prime Minister Modi sees great public policy value in this. He also sees that it can be scaled up to all the other states of India. This perhaps is a fine example of cooperative federalism. 
 
But greater still is that the significance of organic agriculture is the path changing public policy initiative in agriculture which can be compared to the Green Revolution of the Nehruvian era. The next phase of food security will be built on Sikkim's success and Sikkim's mantra of clean food, clean water and clean air. Don't pay more for cleaning the environment. Nature's way is the best.
 
This is a true partnership at play between the prime minister and the state chief minister.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

10 months ago

Why Sikkim is leading in organic farming? There are several states in India, in which few pockets are leading in organic farming.

SC restrains government from divesting HZL stake
The Supreme Court on Tuesday restrained the government from divesting of its 29 percent stake in Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) till further orders.
 
Pulling up the government, an apex court bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice R. Banumathi asked: "What is the compulsion to divest now? Why are you in hurry? You have already committed a violation when you divested in 2002 and this does not mean we will allow you to sell the remainder of the stake without amending the law."
 
The court's observation came as Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi sought to defend the government decision to offload its remaining stake in HZL.
 
Rohatgi contended that HZL had ceased to be a government company after the 2002 disinvestment and the government was no longer interested in continuing with it.
 
Prashant Bhushan, the counsel for the petitioner, National Confederation of Officers Association, told the court that if an illegality was committed in 2002, it could not be perpetuated. 
 
Bhushan said 29 percent government stake could not be divested without parliamentary approval.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Subramani P K

11 months ago

Govt. should withdraw from running of industries and leave it to private players with necessary regulations. Their concentration should be to govern the country as their major time is required to have good governance and wasting time & money on industries without any profit or steady income is not desirable. So divestment of all the stakes of govt. in industries should be permitted by SC without any hindrance.

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