Jigme Love and Courtney Watkins of Mine & Yours interviewed Vancouver entrepreneur Penny Green for their monthly Style Profile in WestVancouver Magazine.
The rising cost of living has helped boost B.C.’s second-hand industry, says William Azaroff, vice-president of community investment for Vancity credit union | Everything/Shutterstock
Many British Columbians are experiencing the second-hand economy first-hand as the industry is now taking in an estimated $1 billion annually, says a report commissioned by Vancity.
The survey reveals a large majority of British Columbians are engaged in the province’s secondary market: 83% of those surveyed have bought second-hand goods, representing an estimated $1.05 billion provincewide in annual spending, while 72% have sold goods they had previously used.
Jigme Love, founder of the second-hand women’s luxury clothing store Mine & Yours, attributes the second-hand industry’s success to the fall of the stigma surrounding it.
“The size of the market in Vancouver has changed dramatically, and public sentiment towards second-hand shopping has changed so much just in the past three years. I feel like it’s almost mainstream now; it’s a way of life,” said Love. “It’s become completely natural, which I really am happy about because it’s great for everyone in terms of the environment and your wallet.”
Consumer debt load, including hefty mortgages and rents for many British Columbians, leaves money tight for not only discretionary spending, but also paying for essentials. The cost of living is a key contributor to the size of B.C.’s second-hand industry, said William Azaroff, vice-president of community investment for Vancity.
“We surmise that the second-hand market has grown because so many of the indicators have to do with affordability and how the economy is doing,” Azaroff said.
Affordability was the main driver cited by 65% of respondents who buy second-hand items, while 45% of those who sold used goods said they used the money to pay their bills, rent or mortgage. Of note, the Vancity study points to a 2016 IBISWorld report that states B.C. has a higher proportion of Canada’s used-goods stores (18.8%), with just 12% of the Canadian population
Demographics have also played a part in B.C.’s resale market, with the millennial mindset focused on some unique purchase patterns, said Azaroff.
“One of my favourite stats in the report is that, in B.C., 74% of millennials say they’re willing to pay more for a big-ticket item – say over $500 – for something of higher quality or … more durable, if they know it can be resold later.”
Millennials are slightly less active than the average British Columbian in the second-hand market (93% versus 97%). However, millennials are considerably less likely to donate or give away something they own compared with the B.C. average (29% versus 52%).
The resale market also shares some core characteristics with the sharing economy that has emerged in recent years. Much like the sharing economy, the second-hand marketplace allows people to experience a product without having to bear the brunt of the full cost. Millennials value access over ownership, Azaroff said.
The Internet age has also provided a launch pad for both industries’ growth. Free online classifieds sites like Craigslist and Kijiji make the process of advertising used goods and finding a buyer more accessible than bricks-and-mortar pawnshops or second-hand shops, says Azaroff.
Love said a business in the resale industry is pretty easy to get started, but she faced difficulties with inventory and scalability. At the beginning stages of Mine & Yours, Love wanted to publicize the business’ purchase of second-hand clothes for resale from well-known fashion bloggers. At first, the bloggers were wary of participating in the project for fear of the stigma attached to working with second-hand stores. Now, Love said, bloggers are eager and proud to publicize their work with Mine & Yours.
In the second-hand industry, inventory is limited, which in turn narrows consumer choice. This also raises some costs associated with inventory. When Love wanted to showcase her inventory online, she faced logistical problems with taking pictures of each individual item to display on the website.
The circular economy, where goods are reused or wholly recycled with the end goal of zero waste, is not yet at the top of the consumer’s mind.
The Vancity report found that when it comes to the environmental benefits of buying re-used goods, greenbacks still top green concerns. Only 25% of those surveyed said their concern for the environment was a key driver in their decision to participate in the market. Millennials were no more likely to engage in the secondary economy for environmental reasons than were other age groups.
However, the notion of a throwaway purchase might no longer be in fashion. The report identifies a potential shift in consumers who are spending more time weighing the value of their transaction.
“As their finances get tighter, they think about their purchases in terms of an investment,” Azaroff said. “[They ask,] ‘What are we going to buy that will have more durability [and] have value at the end of its life cycle?’”
The report, Thrift Score: An examination of the driving forces behind B.C.’s second-hand economy, included a poll of more than 900 British Columbians and looked at why people buy, sell and donate used goods. The report was written by Vanessa Timmer, executive director of One Earth, a non-profit focused on changing production and consumption patterns.
For the third year in a row we had an amazing time celebrating women in business at the gala promoted by the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. The Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver was full of inspiring people sharing experiences, advices and confidence boost to the next generation of successful ladies...
Mine and Yours is like walking into a fashion dream closet. High-end designer bags take the top shelf with luxury brands including authentic Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Prada. Find current “it brands” including Theory, Alice + Olivia, Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant, Marc Jacobs as well as carefully selected retail brands including Zara and Topshop. This beautifully curated boutique is one of the city’s best luxury and on-trend fashion consignment stores.
Mine & Yours Owners Jigme Love and Courtney Watkins were honoured to sit down with Producer Kristen Sharp to discuss how they started their local business, and the ins and outs of high fashion recycling during a live radio interview for the January 22 edition of "Sense of Place".
With well-curated luxury resale stores like Mine & Yours cropping up, gone are the days of having to dig through musty racks of outdated (I mean, “retro”) styles to find a clothing goldmine.
Browsing the Mine & Yours selection online or on their Instagram feed makes the process easy, and finding authentic designer labels at up to 80% off original retail prices means that there will actually be money left over when I’m done party dress shopping this year.
Luxury resale and designer consignment stores are proving popular, and are cropping up for business across Canada. There’s Mine & Yours in Vancouver, Vespucci Consignment in Calgary and Edmonton and Love That Bag in Montreal. Consignment shops are not just limited to brick and mortar stores. There are also online consignment sites, such as The RealReal headquartered in California and The Vestiaire Collective hailing from Paris that are bringing new online life to pre-loved pricey clothing.
Each piece that is bought and sold has to be priced what it’s worth. Designer consignment is like a triangle where the designer, seller, and customer walk away with something that makes them feel good. It creates a win win situation for everyone as the customer comes in for a second-hand deal while the seller acquires a certain percentage of how much the item is sold.
So is shopping the second-hand economy worth the hunt?
Brit Rawlinson, Owner of V-S-P consignment in Toronto thinks so.
“Resale luxury can be a lot of searching around so you just have to take a peek,” she says. “Don’t worry about sizes because every designer fits differently. Sometimes you find 20 things that fit and sometimes you find nothing. The right piece always finds you.”
3.1 Phillip Lim Powder Blue Bag: Originally sold for $1400. Resale price at $295 at Mine and Yours.
Black Suede Valentino Booties: Original sold for $1475. Resale price at $275 at Mine and Yours.
Bottega Veneta Cardholder: Original sold for $760. Resale price at $175 at Mine and Yours.
"For the full article on the Globe and Mail, CLICK HERE"
On Tuesday, September 15th, Latergramme took part in the Branding for Instagram social session, which brought together a group of local Vancouver Instagram experts to share their expertise on using visual social media to build a professional brand.
Sharing Instagram insight as part of the panel discussion were Ally Matos, Christie Lohr, Tiana Lachnit, as well as Destin Jones and Stephanie Trembath who attended on behalf of Latergramme. The panel was hosted by Jigme Love, founder of luxury clothing boutique Mine & Yours.
Guests were treated to an hour-long panel session where they learned tips on creating engaging Instagram content, building an audience, and how to use visual media to promote their business and connect to influencers.