"A Love Letter to Pre‑Loved, Budget‑Friendly Fashion"
By Aditi Murti, The SWADDLE
In the Indian market, both luxury vintage boutique shops and thrift store options are gaining prominence for re-selling pre-loved fast fashion at affordable rates.
Divya Saini, co-founder of Indian vintage label Bodements, found her love for vintage in the outskirts of Paris. She said,”While sourcing clothes for one of my shoots, a friend got me to a store that had beautiful blouses and jackets amongst many things. I bought a lot [of] articles for my different projects and clients and a few things for my friends too. What few people know is that my initial plan with Bodements was solely to rent these clothes to a very exclusive type of clients and use them for some of my shoots. But all my friends loved how special each piece was, how it told a story and how they embodied a style and a positive philosophy. They all asked for more. It was then that I realized that my love for sharing little treasures which I bring from trips, could actually grow into something bigger.”
Saini’s most beloved thrift finds include a late-80s jacket with a Freddie Mercury vibe from Berlin, and an Emanuelle Khan jacket from the late 60s with a unique dragon-like collar — “the kind of garment you can only find in France.” She is one of the most vocal proponents of sustainable living, often sharing information regarding the dangers of human excess and climate change to her formidable Instagram following. With respect to the Indian market, her journey, though rewarding, has not been easy.
“A lot of Indians are still reluctant [towards] the idea of wearing pre-loved clothes, but mentalities a changing,” she said. “Vintage is also about quality, and Indians do care about it. Mass-produced, standardized and cheap factory items have replaced many goods once made by skilled and traditional artisans. Even if vintage in India doesn’t yet revolve around ethnic fashion, we believe it creates awareness about the importance of craftsmanship,” she said.
Currently, a good 50% of my closet is pre-loved. While my disposal habits are awful, I’m slowly learning to mend and re-wear till my clothes fall apart. Beyond the occasional joy of fitting a trend or just personal style, the things I wear still hold memory and warmth, soothing frayed nerves and gathering my wits, while eliciting a lot more ‘Nice shirt!’s these days.