the collectives

  the collectives


It was somewhere between a shopping addiction and a confronting Netflix documentary about the polluting fashion industry, that our founder Aarti O’Varma started to question her own shopping behavior.

After working in the Fashion industry for many years, she had always been ‘into fashion’. By obsessively following the seasonal trends and buying the latest collections, she had curated a designer wardrobe most women could only dream of. “The items were meant to represent someone I wanted to be. The social, likable woman that lived in my mind rent free. I was hoping to see the person of my imagination in the mirror, but after a while, all it showed me were the many ways in which I wasn’t this woman at all.”



Aarti Varma.

Her shopping behavior became a fulltime job. Picking up and returning packages; it never seemed to end. Clothing racks took over the house. To the point where they even invaded the bedrooms of the kids. No one was allowed to touch any of it, but it wasn’t like she wore all the items religiously
either. “I just sat there and watched the collection grow.” She – and many others in her surroundings - knew something had to change. But how do you shift your mindset towards the urge to keep up with the latest trends?

The answer to this question came after Aarti opened up her phenomenal designer wardrobe to her friends. Lending out her clothes and seeing how much happiness other women could get out of her outfits made her wardrobe so much more special. She soon realized we don’t need to keep buying new clothes to feel stylish or glamorous; we just need to open up our wardrobes to each other… And so, an idea was born. In 2019 Aarti started The Collectives. Instead of just buying an unlimited number of new items, wearing them once or twice, and giving them a way too early retirement, we’ll give them the life they deserve. We extend it.

“To me, ‘Pre-Loved’ has such a positive ring to it. Items which were loved before get the chance to be loved again. I don’t look at clothes as disposable items. But rather as something that deserves a long life. Especially well-crafted items simply become more beautiful over time. I have never had a problem with owning things that have been worn before. Actually, I have been into Pre-Loved items as long as I can remember.’

“In the height of my days as a collector I was still searching for my own sense of style. I bought many items which only made me raise my eyebrows in hindsight. They were so not like me! But it has taught me a lot and it definitely brought me to where I am today.” The items you wear tell the story of who you are. And especially fashion lovers can change like the weather. Collections come and go; fashion is ever changing. The Collectives was born out of the realization that you don’t have to give up the thrill of something new. You can keep on changing. If you just change the way you buy your clothes too.