Why is it that, despite having plenty of clothes, we often feel like we have nothing to wear in the morning? Its estimated that we only wear about 20% of our wardrobe, while we let forgotten pieces, impulse buys, and those trends we never quite mastered gather dust, anticipating their fate during the next decluttering spree.
Textile waste being one of the fashion industry’s biggest issues is no secret. Every year, we discard millions of unwanted clothes to charity shops, thrift stores, or donation bins. However, we don’t recirculate most of these garments. Globally, experts estimate that as much as 92 million tons of such clothing actually ends up in landfills. In 2022, Singapore produced 257,000 tonnes of textile waste, and only 2% of it underwent recycling.
Given the fashion industry’s impact on the climate crisis, we need to normalise rewearing, restyling and recirculating the clothes that already exist in our wardrobes and communities. While secondhand fashion in Singapore has become more popular, confronting your consumption habits can feel daunting and time consuming. In Asia, there’s also still a lot of myths and superstitions surrounding secondhand fashion, like old clothes carrying bad luck (or, the ghosts of dead people!)
All of the above is what Singapore-based platform The Reoutfitter, is on a mission to solve, one wardrobe at a time.
Styling a more sustainable fashion future
Founded in 2021 by Korean-American personal stylist Sera Murphy, The Reoutfitter offers one-on-one styling services (called ‘Reoutfits’) for clients, guiding them through wardrobe decluttering, tailored styling advice and the resale of unwanted garments.
The Reoutfitter offers three package services to transform your wardrobe: The Core Reoutfit, The Closet Reoutfit and The Full Reoutfit.
Each service includes a one-on-one consultation with a dedicated Closet Curator. Through a detailed wardrobe review, the team helps to assess, categorise and restyle outfits with a fresh perspective. They also recommend avenues to donate or rehome unwanted items and identify key missing pieces from a mix of local and sustainable brands and international designers.
After growing demand, the platform also launched The Reoutfitter Shop, a secondhand fashion marketplace featuring items exclusively selected from clients’ wardrobes, helping them sell their excess and earn money. It curates gently used designer apparel and accessories, carving out a niche for itself by offering mid-tier brands that are not often found elsewhere in Singapore, such as Maje, Cult Gaia, Zimmermann, Reformation, Everlane, and Aje. The platform breathes new life into neglected pieces and finds homes for items that may otherwise have been sent to landfill.
In this interview, Sera talks about the barriers to shopping second hand fashion in Singapore, and how she’s trying to shift mindsets through offering a more curated, personal secondhand shopping experience.
This video is part of ZERRIN’s State of Sustainable fashion in Singapore series. Watch the full documentary here, and subscribe for updates on future videos released throughout September!
Susannah believes better design can help create a brighter future. A former magazine editor, she now runs ZERRIN and works at the intersection of consumers, brands and sustainability advocacy.