Thrifty & Chic: The Rise of Sustainable Fashion

Thrifty & Chic: The Rise of Sustainable Fashion 

From Zendaya’s unforgettable look on the Red Carpet, to what every college student’s wardrobe looks like, thrift fashion has found a permanent seat on the bus called fashion. 

As the fashion industry continues to grow and evolve, so too does the conversation around sustainability and the impact of our consumer choices. In recent years, more and more individuals have turned to thrift fashion as a way to not only save money but also reduce their environmental footprint and express their unique style.

Thrift fashion, also known as secondhand shopping, is the practice of purchasing clothing and accessories from thrift stores, vintage shops, and online marketplaces.

One such platform making waves is Bazaara, a marketplace for resale fashion. Alyssa Mariano, co-founder of Bazaara, has elaborated on the platform's operations, shedding light on its impressive user base and growth.

Alyssa Mariano, co-founder of Bazaara

According to Mariano, Bazaara currently boasts over 20,000 registered users and has more than 25,000 live listings. What's even more impressive is the platform's order growth, which averages between 60 and 70 percent.


Here’s the cool thing about Bazaara. Anyone who registers on the application automatically becomes a seller. When creating a listing, sellers can upload a couple of pictures of the item they want to sell along with a brief description. They can also quote a price for each item, which includes their profit element. Bazaara then adds its transaction fee and applicable courier charges to arrive at the final cost of the item. This end price is the only one listed to the prospective buyer, making the purchase process transparent and hassle-free.


When it comes to buying and selling on Bazaara's peer-to-peer resale platform, the process is straightforward and secure. Once the item is listed with the final cost, it is available online for prospective buyers to purchase. When a sales request is made, the seller has 48 hours to accept the sale.

On acceptance, the courier automatically picks up the item from the seller, and it is delivered to the buyer. 

In normal circumstances, the entire transaction takes place within two days. To ensure a secure transaction, Bazaara makes a pre-authorized booking of the buyer's card, and only on delivery, the card is charged, and the due amount is passed on to the seller's account.

The beauty of Bazaara's platform is that buyers and sellers do not have to deal with meeting random people for the exchange of clothing. The courier comes to pick up and deliver the item, ensuring that the process is secure and convenient for all parties involved.


According to Mariano, the idea for the platform was born out of necessity. When she moved from the US to the UAE in 2017, she found that there were no apps available for buying and selling pre-loved clothing and accessories, which resulted in a huge accumulation of stock in her wardrobe.

“While standard platforms like OLX and Facebook Marketplace were available, I found that they presented significant challenges due to personal interactions and physical handling of money. As a result, we began exploring the idea of creating a more streamlined, secure platform for buying and selling secondhand fashion. That’s how Bazaara happened.”

With a long-standing desire to become an entrepreneur and a passion for working for herself, Mariano finally brought Bazaara to life in 2021. Since then, the platform has quickly gained popularity among fashion lovers looking for a sustainable and convenient way to buy and sell pre-loved items.


From a regulatory standpoint, there were no significant obstacles for Bazaara since buying and selling second hand items is permitted. However, the team faced the challenge of educating people about the benefits of buying and selling pre-loved fashion.

Their target market consists primarily of millennials and Gen Z, who have shown a strong preference for secondhand shopping. These younger generations are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of fast fashion and are looking for more sustainable alternatives.


The company had initially relied on bootstrapped resources and an investment from a lead investor to establish itself, with two Angel investors also contributing to its formation. The platform's target demographic is a younger audience who are active on social media, which the company believes can be influenced through social media marketing. 

Currently, Bazaara is focused on rebranding and developing a second version of its app, which will be easier to use and feature many new enhancements. The company also plans to expand to Saudi Arabia once the new app is launched, having already established full coverage in the UAE. 

After a fresh funding round, Bazaara plans to utilize the funds to expand its platform and grow its user base. Investing in marketing and expanding their team to improve user experience and increase customer engagement makes it high on the priority list. 

Additionally, Bazaara plans to enhance its technology infrastructure to support its growing user base and improve its platform's performance. The company also aims to expand into new markets and increase its offerings beyond resale fashion. 

In a world where fast fashion dominates the market, thrift fashion is a refreshing alternative that promotes sustainability, individuality, and affordability. Marketplaces like Bazaara are pushing the envelope on customer experience while keeping up with the trends. 

By embracing secondhand shopping, we can reduce our impact on the environment and create a more conscious and creative fashion culture.

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