PR Community | PR x Apé
This July, PR launched a unique retail collaboration with new platform Apé offering a free service for all PR customers, offering them an opportunity to recycle their previous
purchases as a testament to the #LovedClothesLast – a celebration of slow fashion building conscious shoppers.
Annika Fernando – Designer, Curator and Creative Director of PR – shares her thoughts on
Circular Consumption and the PR x Apé collaboration.
You don't retail second hand clothes at PR, why collaborate with Apé?
We promote conscious consumerism. With Apé, PR is able to provide a new service to our customers, giving them an option to consciously recycle their clothes and extend a garment's life cycle.
No, we don't retail second hand clothes at PR, but we are strong believers of #LovedClothesLast. We sell quality pieces to love, a long time. If you really feel you aren't in love with a piece any more, or perhaps have tired of it, here's a way for you to not leave it abandoned in your closet.
Our clothes and accessories can stand the test of time with love and care, and we are confident there are many people out there who may not have wanted to spend the original price on the same item. Everyone wins.
Do you wear second hand?
My sister and I have swapped clothes and I've accepted many hand-me-downs from my mother. Years ago, some friends and I had a great system where we'd pass a bag of clothes and accessories around. We'd take from it what we'd like, add to it and pass it back around.
I've also shopped 'vintage' and own jewellery which has been worn before, ‘vintage’ is basically a fashionable way of saying second-hand. Antique furniture is second hand – furniture can have way more history than many garments! One of the only shopping regrets I recall is from a vintage store in Florence.
Shouldn't you just give away and not indulge in excess full stop?
Many items we buy are just not suitable for those that we would give away to out of ‘need’. Many times when I've collected clothes for different causes, I find items which are just not suitable for the community we are collecting for.
In Sri Lanka, we are not used to 'throwing away' but by not being more conscious in how we 'give away' we are actually doing exactly that.
Sometimes we may have indulged in something of quality, which is still of value and not worth to a cause or too valuable to just 'give away'. Someone else will see the value in it and we can extend the product's life and you can even get something back in return so you feel better about the process.
What do you think is conscious consumerism?
I think we should all practice conscious decision making which starts with shopping. Buy less, but spend more on quality. Don't impulse buy, buy items you'll love and wear over and over again. Also, the life of a garment is not due to the wearing of it, but more often due to the wash and care of it. So consciously looking after what we have must be part of the process. At the end it is always about value.
Is it not hypocritical to support conscious consumerism whilst retailing at the same time?
I don't think it's hypocritical at all with our PR ethos. We retail quality garments which are all part of the slow fashion movement. Nothing is produced in bulk and all is produced ethically. We don't want our customers going home and regretting their purchases. We want them to love their purchases. We are just offering a new option to our customer in a longer term.
What does PR gain from this collaboration?
If we connect you with Apé to handle the sale directly between the two of you, we are happy to provide photos to assist you as a free service.
If you hand it over to us to handle the sale, we will check the garment and assist Apé with all information required to assist the sale of the garment. We will hold your garment for 3 months from Apé sharing online, with us and update you on the sale. By being in our possession it becomes our responsibility and thereby covered by our insurance.
Upon sale for the agreed value, you will receive a PR voucher which you can use against new purchases for yourself or buying gifts and the happy conscious cycle continues.
We get to be a part of the conscious life cycle of a garment we feel confident to stand by.
Himali De Silva, Founder of Apé – Interviewed by Annika
Tell us briefly what Apé is about?
Traditionally we consume in a linear manner, where we take, make, consume and throw, but the world is moving towards circular consumption. Where items are handled in a more conscious and responsible manner by keeping them in circulation for as long as possible by reusing, sharing etc. and thus reducing waste. Yet as products are not circular, it’s the choices we as consumers make in how we buy, use and what we do with them once we don’t need them any longer that makes a difference.
Which is where Apé comes in by providing a resale platform to enable circular consumption in Colombo.
Why PR? What led you to this collaboration?
PR sells quality, timeless, non-mass-produced items – therefore enabling these items to be kept in circulation for a long time as they don’t deteriorate, go out of fashion as quickly or have the plethora of negative environmental effects as fast fashion items would. Thus the collaboration of connecting a high quality retailer with a resale platform seems like a natural fit/next step.
What do you think your biggest challenge is with Apé?
As the concept of circular consumption is relatively new to Sri Lanka there is a need to nudge consumers mindsets towards it. I hope to do this via raising the understanding and appreciation of the numerous benefits personally and on a macro level that can be derived from choosing to consume in this manner.
What are you hoping to accomplish with this collaboration with PR?
A quality stream of PR authenticated items that will be resold via our platform, thereby keeping these items in circulation for as long as possible, allowing more people to enjoy them and minimize waste.
PR doesn't retail second hand clothing, why collaborate with a retailer in this manner?
Given the unprecedented times and instability brought about by Covid it’s pertinent for us to consume more wisely, whilst enjoying our lives, a part of which is dressing in nice items. The PR x Apé collaboration provides PR customers with the ability to purchase a PR item, enjoy it whilst having the comfort of a resale platform where they can resell and get something back for it (versus collecting dust or being thrown), which can then be used towards their next purchase.
So what does one do/how can you get involved?
Select a garment that you have bought or were gifted which was originally from PR and contact the store.
PR will either directly connect you with Apé to handle the sale and assist with any additional photos to assist with the sale of your item. You would then sit back and wait for Apé to let you know when your item is sold!
Or, you prefer to stay anonymous and don't want the hassle? Hand over the item to PR and agree on a re-sale price. Our team will coordinate everything with Apé. Once sold, you receive the sale value in the form of a PR voucher!
We hope you enjoy the service as much as we love being a part of it!