When it comes to luxury brands the question regarding how to buy sustainably is tricky. There are new and even some old large fashion houses converting to sustainable principles but if you want to be able to chose from all brands the best way is to buy second hand.
Enter luxury secondhand haven Timpanys.
A buy and resell website that also have a walk in store only offers the best quality and practically new items. Before the full review I had a chat with the creator behind Timpanys to get a better insight.
Timpanys is a buying and reselling platform, this encourages people to buy less new items. Was sustainability an influence to start the platform ?
There are a few influences behind Timpanys - when I opened the store 8 years ago my passion was to democratise luxury fashion. To make high designer items affordable to people without scarfing on the luxury experience. Over time I have become more and more concerned with the way the fashion industry is moving and have been influenced very much by the research carried out by wrap.org and the stands celebrities such as Livia Firth are taking. Being in the industry I want to do my bit to highlight the long term damage our buying habits are doing to our world.
Therefore at Timpanys we take a stand against fast fashion by encouraging our clients to buy quality pieces that stand the test of time and by trying to educate them on viewing luxury items as investments that can be passed on. It is quite at odds to the fast fashion you see in Primark or such like - but on Timpanys.com we have our own sort of ‘fast fashion” with new items being added daily and as there is only one of everything you still get that thrill when you make a purchase - but you’re actually consuming conscientiously. One statistic that always sticks in my mind is that there would be a 10% cut in the environmental cost to the planet if we increase the lifecycle of clothing by just 3 months.
What about ethical values, do you decline to resell any brands if they weren’t ethically made?
We have strong views about how much the world wastes on fast fashion and the exploitation of both people and the environment during the production processes. What we do is try to extend the lifecycle of clothing as much as possible so that all of these processes can be slowed down and improved. Our contract to sell is with the owner of the item so we actively encourage our clients to think carefully about how they purchase in the first place.
What happens to the clothes that doesn’t get sold?
The clothes that are not sold either get returned to their original owner or they are sent to charity. Sometimes clients have charities that they want the clothes to be donated to which can be arranged. Or they choose to donate all the money they make from the selling of their items as we can often achieve a lot more than a charity shop.
Can you buy something then resell it again on the website?
Yes we have a lot of pieces that people buy and enjoy for a few years and then choose to re-sell through us. It is fun to follow the life cycle of exceptional pieces and see how differently they are styled. One item can bring joy to many different people.
What’s the future plans for Timpanys and how is Timpanys different from the other buy and resell luxury item platforms?
Good question. Timpanys is quite different from a lot of the marketplaces currently available as we take everything in house to authenticate and photograph them all ourselves. This means that we can control the quality of the pieces, guarantee 24 hour shipping times and more importantly we offer no quibble returns. Something that I think is very important when buying preowned. This is rarely found on preowned marketplaces and as a consumer myself I find it difficult to buy when I know I don’t have the option to return. Beyond that Timpanys is a service: we offer everything from home collections to sourcing of rare handbags. For example we have built up a great supply network over our years of trading from which we can source Hermes Birkin bags or rare vintage Chanel. Also I like to put my face behind the brand - it’s not something a lot of people have done and it means that people can relate to us and build a relationship with a person rather than just shop a website.
I ordered two pieces to test out the quality of both clothing and accessories. A Louis Vuitton clutch and a Sandro skirt. Both extremely reasonably priced compared to their RRP. The shipping was quick and the packaging of the items were both sustainable yet luxurious. Once I unwrapped what can only be described as a Christmas gift, I held up the items and couldn’t believe it. Both items looked brand new! The website carefully describes any faults the items for sale might have but I honestly did not expect the condition of the items to be this good. As both the bag and skirt were red they assembled a perfect outfit and I had friends asking me when I bought my new LV. All in all very pleased and will definitely order from here again!
Plus points: Thorough with explaining the condition of items and reasonably priced.
Minus points: The website can be a little confusing as they list sold out items.