This is not fashion shopping as we know it: the buyer gives details of age, gender, size and color preferences, and hands over £ 39. A few weeks later a box arrives at your door containing at least three items, with the full ticket price increasing to at least £ 70, which was originally intended for stores like Topshop.
This is coronavirus crisis fashion shopping. Mode comes directly from the Internet Bangladesh factories where goods are made and mystery boxes are designed to provide a financial lifeline for businesses and workers who supply big street names.
After fashion shops were forced to close their doors in government closure, Western brands include Arcadia Sir Philip Green, owner of the Topshop and Dorothy Perkins chains, as well as Primark and Edinburgh Woolen Mill are canceled or suspended £ 2.4 billion orders from factories in Bangladesh because they rushed to reduce their losses.
In total, around £ 10 billion of clothing has been piled up in warehouses during closure. Some retailers are also accused of demanding massive discounts from suppliers, canceling orders or holding payments for goods that have been shipped.
More than one million Bangladeshi garment workers are sent home without pay or lost their jobs, while factories are left with mountains of excess stock that can be destined to be hoarded.
Lost Stock, founded by entrepreneurs based in Edinburgh Cally Russell, founder of Mallzee’s fashion shopping app, allowing buyers to buy a box of clothing directly from the manufacturer, with almost 40% of the results of each box donated to Bangladesh through a non-profit organization based in the country. Enough to feed Bangladeshi families for a week.
“We can connect consumers directly to producers and workers, while the middle of the supply chain is not functioning right now because the shops are closed and they cannot take the stock,” Russell said.
The response to the mystery boxes, he said, had been “shocking”. The goal of Lost Stock is to sell 10,000 boxes at the end of May, to help 10,000 families of garment workers, and hopefully 50,000 by the end of the year.
Instead, more than 68,000 consumers have bought a box since the initiative was launched less than two weeks ago.
Russell thanked by mouth for helping them surpass their targets, and said Facebook had become the biggest sales driver.
“Many people like to buy clothes, but now some of them don’t want to buy clothes because they feel guilty. “People love the fact that they don’t know what’s in the box, someone told me today that they feel they have bought their future as a gift,” he said.
The Lost Stock Box is £ 35, plus £ 3.99 shipping, and will contain at least three peaks at the suggested retail price of £ 70.
The clothes box will contain tops, shirts and shirts rather than trousers – because it fits perfectly is not needed.
More than one third of the cost of each box (37%), nearly £ 13, was then directly donated to Bangladesh Sajida Basic, which donated food and hygiene packages in the country during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Lost Stock will pay $ 11 (£ 9) for the garment in each box, but give a Details of the cost of each box on its website, including logistics and marketing.
Russell didn’t say exactly which retailer ordered which items would end up in the box. Brand labels will be removed in Bangladesh, before goods are sent to Europe, to be taken, packaged, and sent to consumers in six to eight weeks.
“These are all spring summer stocks so we want people to go to summer. If you order a box now you will likely have it in late June or early July, we do everything we can to make it as fast as possible. “
Buyers returning goods purchased online are a logistical challenge even for established retailers. Under UK remote sales regulations, Lost Stock must return money to customers who are not satisfied with the contents of their boxes.
But Russell hopes that buyers will exchange items they don’t want with other users, or donate them to charity.
Lost Stock said it was not sure whether it would benefit from the venture, but given its success so far, it was considering introducing children’s clothing boxes.
Russell added: “We are quite far from our upper limit, there are so many stocks there.”
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