From The Straits Times    |

Image: PreLouLou

When Priscilla Wuersch-Ng and Lala Wang saw how babies outgrow their clothes in a matter of weeks, they realised that many parents struggle to consumer kids clothing in a sustainable manner. The pair decided to do something about it with PreLouLou, an online marketplace that allows locals to buy and sell preloved baby and children’s apparel.

“We were inspired by resale platforms in the US, Europe and Australia that parents a more sustainable way of consuming and clothing for their children. This led us to conduct our own surveys and focus groups with parents here, and we found this problem to be an untapped market opportunity,” says Priscilla.

An enhanced marketplace

But what “untapped” opportunity, you may wonder, when we already have a popular online marketplace like Carousell?

“PreLouLou provides a better shopping experience in several ways. First, shoppers can browse items that have already been curated for quality. Second, they can purchase items by different sellers all at once rather than haggle with individual sellers,” she explains. She says that they also include clear pictures and product descriptions so shoppers know exactly what they’re buying and don’t have to spend time sieving through shoddy images or poor captions.

The company launched the website last month and currently has over 400 products for sale. Most of the clothing are from designer brands like Dior, Ralph Lauren and Bonpoint; boutique brands like Happyology, Kakapo and DotDotSmile; high street brands such as Zara and Gap; and local brands including Le Petit Society, The Elly Store and Sea Apple.

Credit: PreLouLou

“This not only allows shoppers to choose from a wide range of brands and style, but also access unique, vintage pieces at affordable price points. And to further encourage parents to embrace ethical fashion, we also provide ideas on how to pair the pieces we have.”

All the clothing are sourced locally and all the listed prices are at least 50 percent off their retail prices. In short, a top from a high street brand can be going for as low as $10, and a rare couture piece, for a couple of hundred. Also, every item is carefully sorted (i.e. new with tag, excellent and good) by condition.

A greater purpose

It’s no secret that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, coming in second to oil. And in Singapore alone, baby and children clothing add up to over 200,000 tonnes of textile waste a year, which is why Priscilla and Lala wanted to do their part—however small—in minimising waste.

“Fast fashion provides an affordable way for consumers to enjoy the latest trends, but its impact on the environment is worrying and companies can do more to reevaluate their practices. We shouldn’t forget that there’s also a lot that we can do as consumers to encourage sustainability,” says Priscilla.

“There’s still some resistance to consuming second-hand items, perhaps due to uncertainty about their condition or cleanliness standards. But there needs to be a change in mindset so that our children will inherit a liveable and green planet.”

Credit: PreLouLou

But this doesn’t mean there is any compromise on quality and hygiene—all of PreLouLou’s pieces are meticulously inspected to ensure that they meet high standards in both quality and hygiene.

Much as the duo had to “forgo a few staycations” to build the website, they have no regrets about pursuing this passion project. It helps that customers recognise their efforts.

“It’s hard work but we’ve already received tremendous support and positive feedback from the community despite being new. It’s been really worth it.”