Meet the mom who started an e-commerce platform for kids clothes

June 11, 2019 15:03
Retykle, founded by Sarah Garner (pictured), aims to eliminate the hassles in peer-to-peer children’s wear trade. Photo: HKEJ,

Having worked in luxury fashion for over ten years, Sarah Garner knows first-hand how many high-quality items often sit in closets with their tags still on or barely worn.

As a mom of two, she started Retykle, a Hong Kong-based e-commerce platform, to allow sellers to turn idle kids' clothes into cash, and enabling customers to buy designer children’s clothing at a fraction of the usual retail price.

“For children growing from newborn to two years old, in general, they have come across at least 7 sizes of clothes, which is both not cost-effective and environmentally friendly,” said Garner.

Before starting the business, she found that children’s wear is one of the most commonly traded items among various second-hand items trading groups on social networks. However, there are still some hassles in peer-to-peer children’s wear trade, such as physical meet-ups and cash payment arrangements.

That is why Garner’s Retykle offers free pick-up or drop-off services at its studio for sellers, as well as free shipping and return services for customers. Also, customers can pay for the purchase by credit card or PayPal on the platform.

Garner noted that for those who want to sell second-hand children’s wear on the platform, they must first make sure that the items are from the specific kid clothes brands picked by the platform, and there are no stains or issues such as fading, pilling, or damage, among other bad conditions.

“We will not wash the items for sale before listing them on the platform,” said Garner. “We hope the seller has properly cleaned it before handing it over to us.” Retykle would handle the pricing of the item, and upload its photo on the platform for sale. Once the item is sold successfully, the seller will share half of the income, and the other half goes to the platform.

Garner added that the platform will price the items according to its condition. For those with their tags still on, normally they will be priced at about half of the original price, while for the “gently used” items, they can be priced as low as one-tenth of the original price.

When Retykle was newly launched, customers were mainly foreigners and expats living in the city, as Garner believes the culture of “recirculate” was more prevalent in foreign countries. But as the platform grew, local customers now account for a larger share.

The company is seeking to move from its online-only approach and expand a physical footprint. Previously, it launched stores in Central and Repulse Bay in pop-up trials in the city. Garner now hopes to find a suitable retail location to open the firm's first physical store in the future.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 11

Translation by Ben Ng

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal