Co-founded by Shehlina Soomro, Omar Soomro and Pernia Qureshi, ‘Saritoria’ is a newly-launched global platform which aims to start a pre-love(d) revolution in authentic South Asian luxury couture.
It intends to redefine the concept of ‘new clothes’ while also building a conscious community that promotes sustainability by giving cool ‘desi’ fashion masterpieces a second life, say its founders.
IANSlife gets talking to Shehlina and Pernia to know more about this venture and how is it relevant in today’s time.
Why was this platform important?
Soomro: For me, personally I felt that I had so many solutions for Western wear and was amazed that there was no equivalent for my ‘desi’ clothes. The amount of human and natural resources that go into making each garment is so much higher than for western wear, so it’s even more crucial that we extend the life of these outfits. This is why we needed Saritoria to connect 1.8bn people to the circular economy.
Especially considering South Asia will be disproportionately affected by climate change we need to enable consumers to make smarter choices now before it’s too late. And the great thing about Saritoria is that it’s a smarter choice without sacrificing anything — rather it empowers people to access luxury clothes at a far more reasonable price as well as being able to cash in on what you already have, all while saving the planet. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
How is it relevant in today’s time?
Soomro: The platform is essential in this day and age where we are looking to make more conscious decisions as a consumer. There is a real need for a reliable preloved market place for the modern consumer and Saritoria is now there to fill the void. The team at Saritoria has been overwhelmed with enquiries in the last few days since our launch which proves the relevance and importance of the concept.
Is this going to be the future?
Pernia: Saritoria is most definitely the future of fashion in India and for our South Asian community worldwide. If we simply see what a similar model has done in the west for fashion, the proof is right there! From The Real Real to Vestiare Collective, pre-loved fashion has changed the game forever.
With major brands collaborating with them and major fashion houses investing in them, it is clear that this is the future. At Saritoria, we have gone one step ahead and catered this business to suit the needs of clients from our part of the world. We have added a concierge service to make the process even easier and effortless to list and sell garments. We have also added a bidding feature because we know how much South Asians love to bargain.
This business finally gives access to a whole new base of people who maybe could not afford designer fashion earlier. We are democratizing fashion, we are supporting sustainability with reusing old outfits and we are helping our clients make cash! How can it get any better?! It’s really a win-win for everyone and I’m so glad that I get to be a part of the team that has built something revolutionary for the future!
Will you yourself opt for ‘pre-loved’?
Pernia: I have been a supporter of pre-loved fashion my whole life. As a teenager I used to wear all my mother’s hand me down clothes shoes and bags, since we were a similar size. I still do it to this day. A lot of my wardrobe is my mother’s pieces from the 90s. In college in the US, I got introduced to vintage stores and thrift stores and I became a huge fan! I would love looking through the racks and hunting for one of a kind treasures. Every time I would travel to a city like Paris or New York I would always look for the vintage stores. This love for pre-loved fashion is completely aligned with what Saritoria stands for.
I have already listed so many of my outfits on the website and have made my mother and sister do the same. Especially with ‘desi’ clothes you don’t get as many opportunities to wear them so why not sell what you don’t need? That way you can make some money for maybe some new things that you may want to buy.
I strongly believe that fashion should be circular, it should always be in use instead of being stuck in the back of your closet! Lastly, I must add that I really appreciate and resonate with the sustainability angle of this business. I’m so glad we are introducing people to a world of fashion where there is no wastage.