Few of us haven’t been affected by the impact the numerous global crises are having on our wallets. Hot on the heels of COVID-19, we have the Russia-Ukraine war and resultant steep hikes in interest-rates, fuel price and grocery bills. This perfect storm means most of us have to trim our budgets continually as our disposable income is whittled away month after month.
How do we deal with this reality?
There’s only so much cost-cutting we can do, especially following two years of instability. A more viable option is looking at alternative sources of income. But coming up with a side hustle is not always easy.
One thing many of us do have as a potential source of income is our wardrobes. Not only can you convert your wardrobe into cash, but you can also tap into the global trend of paring down and decluttering.
“The shift in living and working habits means we don’t need nearly as much clothing as we used to -hybrid work or WFH (work from home) allows us to scale down on work wardrobes,” says Phumi Körber, founder of online fashion resale platform, WISI-Oi.com.
Circular fashion is also becoming a way of life for conscious consumers. The term encompasses clothing, shoes and accessories that are designed, sourced, produced, and provided with the intention to be used and circulate responsibly and effectively in society for as long as possible in their most valuable form. Thereafter they are to be returned safely to the biosphere.
Thrifting (buying of preloved clothing) is a large part of this circularity. It is increasingly becoming mainstream as a conscious choice to reduce fashion waste and play one’s part in conscious consumerism.
‘Marie Kondo’ your wardrobe
“Be honest, how many items do you have just hanging there taking up space and not earning their keep? According to the Wall Street Journal, an average item is worn not more than seven times. After that it gets chucked out,” says Phumi. Your smart suit that’s sitting unappreciated in your wardrobe could be just perfect for someone starting on their career path.
And how many were impulse buys that still have their swing tags on, which you look at guiltily every time you rummage through your closet? You’re not alone.
If something no longer fits your lifestyle, taste – or doesn’t ‘spark joy’, as de-cluttering maven Marie Kondo would have it – time to let it go. Someone out there is almost guaranteed to love it. And they get the chance to own good-quality clothing at an affordable price, while you get to earn an income. Enterprising thrifters could even recruit new garments from others to sell via their boutique. What’s not to love about this exchange?
So how do you do it?
WiSiOi.com provides you with a fashion resale marketplace solution. Sellers are able to set up and run individual online boutiques as their own business, effortlessly.
“WISI-Oi – pronounced we-see-owe-eye – stands for Wear It. Sell It. Own It,” explains Phumi. “And it’s pretty much that simple! The WISI-Oi app is available on Apple App Store and Google Play Store and you can set up and run your boutique entirely from your computer or phone. With the large extent of cell phone penetration in South Africa, this makes the business viable for many more people.”
“The app allows you to open your boutique instantly, upload the products you’d like to sell, track your orders, communicate with your shoppers and check your revenue in real time. WISI-Oi facilitates the transaction, ensuring that payment is secure, and supporting sellers with excellent guidance for optimal use of the marketplace.”
“We guide sellers on pointers such as how to take pictures that sell, how to start selling, what to do when you receive an order, how to price your items, as well as seller terms & conditions and FAQs,” says Phumi.
“For every item sold, the seller keeps 75 percent. WISI-Oi collects 25 percent, plus transaction fees. Courier fees are covered by the buyer. And WISI-Oi pays out seller earnings twice a month. WISI-Oi also supports the buyer, acting as facilitator regarding payment issues, returns or disputes. In other words, both buyer and seller have peace of mind.”
WISI-Oi is changing the narrative when it comes to circular fashion in South Africa, and South Africans are embracing this idea, as is evident by the number of boutiques joining WISI-Oi weekly. A strong social media presence and smart marketing strategy underpins the growth of the platform, and WISI-Oi.com is fast gaining traction and attention as a destination for both new and preloved clothing.
“We South Africans are raised with UBUNTU, the spirit of uplifting each other,” says Phumi. “Wisi-Oi is a platform that aims to help buyers make the sustainable choice of shopping preloved fashion, as well as empowering the seller to earn an extra income by selling their unwanted and unworn clothes. We are on a mission to change the perception of fashion whilst being kind to our planet. All you need is a phone and data, some clothing in good condition, and the will to get going. Take a look at WiSiOi.com and go for it!”