Over the past couple of years second hand shops have gained popularity. Nowadays, more young people buy their clothes in such stores for daily use. However, second hand shops have their pros and cons. On one hand, the price is lower than in usual retail stores and it helps making the textile industry more sustainable in terms of waste reduction. On the other hand, second hand clothes most often seem to be of lower quality, which doesn’t always leave the customers with an appealing impression.
Among all the second hands that are very similar, there’s one that’s different and sticks out. It’s name is NOSENE and it’s located in the center of Bratislava, on Štúrova street. It tries to break the known second hand prejudices and presents itself in a whole new look.
If you’ve already had a chance to visit NOSENE, you can surely confirm that it’s not an ordinary second hand shop. In order to introduce our readers to this project and what stands behind it, we decided to do an interview with the author of this idea – Katka Hutyrová. The pictures and her answers are a great proof that such a business can be done differently.
Hello, Katka. Could you introduce our readers to your project NOSENE and tell us how it all started?
Hi. NOSENE was an idea of a stylish and nice second hand. With my friend, Jakub Ptačin, we started working on the idea and created NOSENE – a second hand where you feel good and have nice clothes to choose from.
We wanted to break the known second hand prejudices, where all the clothes are on one pile, stink and don’t leave you with a good impression. But of course, there are some exceptions where we visit second hands too. At NOSENE, we’re trying to do it differently and show people that they don’t have to be ashamed of visiting second hands – quite the opposite. Also, we wanted to do something meaningful.
The clothes that we put in our store are only the ones that we could imagine wearing or buying. We want to allow people to get rid of their clothes and at the same time support a good idea. At NOSENE, you’ll feel more like in a store of a well-known brand than in a second hand.
Besides selling worn clothes, what is the mission of NOSENE?
One of the goals NOSENE has is to contribute and help a good cause. From every piece sold, a part of the profit goes to help abused woman in the association called Us – mothers. The amount of money the customer is contributing is always written on the price tag.
The decision to buy an already used piece of clothing is a step towards supporting the fashion sustainability. Fast fashion causes that the clothing industry produces waste, which often ends up on a junkyard, where it takes decades to decompose. In most cases, those are clothes that were worn only a couple of times, sometimes not even once.
What can we as students do to help reduce the waste of textile from the clothing industry?
It would be great to have and create an event in form of an opportunity to let people bring their unused apparel and give it to us, so that we can thank the person, give a part of it for a good cause, recycle it and perhaps put some of it in our store.
What do people have to do in order to make some of their clothes appear in your store, and what does the whole process look like?
After some time of sorting the clothes, we had a lot of those that were not usable anymore, damaged and unsaleable. We thought about what to do with them and founded our own brand – Renewals by NOSENE. Thanks to our sewers, there’s always something new created out of them and they can find their way to new owners.
The process itself is pretty simple. You bring us any apparel except for shoes regardless the condition. After that, we will sort it and decide whether we should put it in our store or give it a new look with Renewals by NOSENE.
If there are any clothes in your wardrobe that you won’t wear anymore, we’ll be glad if you bring them to us
If you’re doing well with NOSENE, what will your future plans be?
At this moment, our priority is the store in Bratislava. We already have another one in Banská Bystrica, so those are the things that we want to focus on. We’ll try to spread and push our activities further, and of course, we have many plans
NOSENE is a great example of entrepreneurial excellence. Since at our school we have a subject called entrepreneurial leadership, we decided to ask some of our questions on that topic too.
What do you recommend for our readers before buying new clothes?
Think before you buy. Lower prices surely seem appealing, but a 90% price drop from big retailers cannot be sustainable in any way. Also ask yourself, if you really need what you want to buy. Too much fabric gets lost as waste, which could have been used elsewhere. You as the customer have the opportunity to choose who you want to support with your investment in clothing.
You surely put in a lot of effort into your project. What do you see crucial for a company like NOSENE?
Besides a great designer, knowledge in logistics & accounting, an immense amount of effort. If you want your projects to work out well, you really need to push yourself to the limit and put in all the effort you can. Important for that is not being alone in the team as well. When I cannot be behind the counter in our shop, I need to have people I can trust with, who have the same passion for it as I do. Effort, motivation and a team with passion for what they are doing are they key – and with that, you can start off with your own company.
Let’s say somebody wants to create their own clothing brand and produce merchandise. What should the person think about?
Think about the story of clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. When starting a clothing brand, you’ll need to have a textile supplier. There are many suppliers in Europe you can choose from, so choose wisely. Do a detailed research about the producers of textile, try to track down the production of it to the very first step. Giant brands in the clothing industry have most of their textile production outsourced from Bangladesh or Cambodia. There, the conditions those sewers live in are inhuman with extremely low wages where they work very long shifts.
NOSENE is a fine example for the next generation of second-hand retailers. The shops and the mission behind it do not just give you a feeling of being fashionable, but also the opportunity to help not only the environment but a good cause too.
Nosene is a well executed entrepreneurial company, with a great impact on a social viewpoint.
We thank Katka for providing us with the opportunity to meet and interview her and we wish her all the best in the future with NOSENE
This article was made as one of the outputs from our TERM 3 experience – Brain Bar Budapest
Written by Erik Závodský & Florian Niederseer.