This Article is From Dec 23, 2020

Chennai Woman Promotes Use Of "Pre-Loved" Designer Clothes To Help Needy

Chennai-based Shreya Chauhan, 27, promotes circular fashion through her social venture that sells good quality, but used designer and branded clothes online. The proceeds are used to help those in need.

Chennai Woman Promotes Use Of 'Pre-Loved' Designer Clothes To Help Needy

The Cause Wear got smartphones for children getting cancer treatment so they can attend classes online.


Muthama, a 52-year-old transgender, was able to start her own small entrepreneurial venture - selling hot idly and dosas in Chennai - thanks to an idly cart and set of utensils she received from a non-profit called The Cause Wear.

The social venture was launched by 27-year-old Shreya Chauhan, a fashion lover and entrepreneur who promotes circular fashion and uses proceeds to help those in need.

Ms Muthama, who used to sell banana leaves earlier, told NDTV, "I love cooking. I am able to earn around Rs10-15,000 a month now. It gives me dignity."

In another part of Chennai, a group of eight children, including class 10 students from humble backgrounds who were taking treatment for cancer received smartphones from the same initiative so they could attend online classes.

"All our sale proceeds, minus operational cost, go to communities or individuals in need. During this pandemic, we paid children's school fee, home rent of poor families, provided artificial limbs for those in dire need besides helping many transgender people," Ms Chauhan says.


Shreya Chauhan, 27, promotes circular fashion through her social venture and uses the proceeds to help those in need.

The platform has sold 450 used outfits to around 250 customers over the last one year, largely through social media platforms.

Coming from a philanthropic family, Ms Chauhan says the idea of starting a circular fashion-based venture is two-fold.

"One is to provide fashionable, high-end, used outfits to the aspirational middle classes who believe in reuse, and two, to popularise the globally popular concept of recycling clothes," she says.

"Sixty per cent of all clothes end up in landfills. With so much wastage, we thought there has to be a better way. With each step, The Cause Wear (TCW) hopes to become a platform that helps people comfortably live a more inclusive and sustainable life," she adds.

While cotton takes 3 months to biodegrade, experts say wool and denim take up to 5 years, leather and nylon up to 40 years and rubber boot sole takes 80 years.

Dr Vaaruni Ravishankar, a dermatologist who has bought many used outfits from TCW, says, "I am doubly happy (when I buy from them). I don't worsen the environment, and the cause for which the proceeds are used makes me very happy."

While used good quality or branded clothes can be donated at collection points after quality checks, their purchase and delivery are also very simple.

Ms Chauhan, however, isn't comfortable sharing the funds raised, so far. "Philanthropy can't be put on hoarding," she says.