But what if there was an easier way to guarantee a treasured piece – a place where you could browse a virtual rack of secondhand drops – without the need to search far and wide?
Secondhand shopping is a game of endurance. You rarely score unique vintage pieces each time you shop and rummaging for pre-loved gems requires tenacity, perseverance and a discerning eye. But what if there was an easier way to guarantee a treasured piece – a place where you could browse a virtual rack of secondhand drops, without the need to search far and wide?
Introducing secondhand shopping platform Worn for Good. Co-founded by Sophie Palmer and Pip Best, Worn for Good is a not-for-profit organisation curating monthly collections of pre-loved garments donated by some of Australia’s most influential individuals, designers, retailers and brands. Tapping into Gen Zers’ and Millennials’ lust for emulating iconic influencers and designers, they’ve featured donations from individuals like sartorial goddess Yan Yan Chan and entrepreneur Beck Wadworth, and covetable brands like SIR The Label, Matteau, Zulu & Zephyr, Mode Sportif, Aje, St Agni and Holly Ryan Jewellery.
Worn for Good’s approach maintains everything we love about op shopping – promoting circular fashion, reducing textile waste and raising funds for vulnerable communities – while also giving fashion lovers access to wardrobe items that previously have been out of their reach.
Palmer and Best met at a yoga charity event in 2015 and quickly realised their mutual interest in women’s empowerment, sustainability and social impact. Best had spent close to a decade in the not-for-profit sector as a social worker, while Palmer had straddled the corporate lifestyle of glossy magazines for much of her career, before swapping her desk for yoga and meditation teaching.
“After meeting, we saw an opportunity to do something with the excess we had witnessed in the fashion industry, while at the same time giving back to communities in need,” Palmer says. Worn for Good commit 100 per cent of their profits to Australian charities that work to improve the lives of the disadvantaged and the future of the planet. With each item sold, consumers can decide which organisation receives the funds from their purchase.
Worn For Good is fast approaching their first birthday and have been crunching the numbers. In the last 12 months, they’ve circulated over 482 kilograms of clothing and raised over $20,000 Australian dollars for charities such as Women’s Community Shelters, Children’s Ground, Greening Australia and Women Up North. A particular charity that is close to their heart is Look Good Feel Better, a national community program teaching cancer patients how to manage their appearance-related side effects. “I’m perfectly aligned with that one,” Palmer says. “I was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer a few years ago. I think everyone’s been touched by someone, whether that is a family member or friend, who’s had a cancer diagnosis. So, that’s a charity I really wanted to get behind.”
Just over a month ago they opened up a shop front in Bronte to further scale their donations and organisation. “Now that we have a store, people can come in and we have the opportunity to form a face-to-face relationship with them,” Palmer says. They also see it as a moment to encourage people to take a conscious approach to consuming fashion by sharing the stories behind each garment: the people who made them and the people who wore them. This goes beyond a monetary transaction, as they want their community to feel something before they buy and take a purposeful approach to building their wardrobe.
Their latest collection, Power to the People, features prominent brands such as St Agni, Faithfull and Brie Leon. This edit of over 50 designer pieces, has been curated from items contributed by their collective fashion community, including one very enticing Burberry shoulder bag. “We also accept donations from the general public…and over the past few months we’ve received some amazing designer goodies, from friends and like-minded people in the community,” Palmer says.
With a new app in development to streamline the browsing and purchasing process, Palmer believes their business model is creating a potent vehicle for greater change.