& Again is an innovative online consignment and thrift store business making waves in the world of sustainable fashion in Aotearoa.
Founded by Wendy Quach (pictured below), a passionate advocate for conscious consumerism on a mission to make thrifting more modern, convenient and eco-friendly, & Again’s business model has two sides to it, the buy side and the sell side.
The first side is their Tidy Kits service – essentially a wardrobe clear-out service and the second side is their digital online marketplace where they sell those preloved items of clothing, contributing to a circular economy.
The & Again marketplace brings the charm of thrift store shopping to the digital era. Wendy and her team select pieces they would proudly wear themselves. The result is a curated collection of second-hand treasures that fashion lovers can shop with convenience and confidence.
“For me personally, I don’t have the time or the energy to go into thrift stores anymore. So, I think being able to digitalise it, bring it online and make it modern and super convenient is really moving with the times,” says Wendy.
“But also bringing thrifting and the secondhand clothing industry into more of a digital era is really important because it’s an industry that’s a little bit outdated. When you think of buying secondhand, you automatically think of charity stores or really old, dodgy places. And from a cultural perspective as well, not everyone understands what it’s like to be shopping secondhand.
“I think now it’s more important than ever to be thinking about more of the kind of environmental impact of our purchases.’’ Wendy says.
& Again have introduced a sliding pay scale in order to make the business work. The lower the price your item gets sold for, the higher the percentage they take. And if your item sells for more, you earn more. That’s the way they are able to sell cheaper items as well. They want to rehome all items.
Surprisingly Wendy doesn’t have a background in fashion, she studied marketing and commercial law and worked predominantly in the start-up tech industry. The thriving startup’s journey is a testament to Wendy’s dedication and passion, she’s taking her background in software and combining it with fashion to make a change in the industry.
“I spent about three years working in London, and during the Covid pandemic I decided to move home. It snowballed from a very small idea when I was living at home with my parents. I had no money and I’m like, oh, okay, I’m just going to live at home, do what I’m doing with & Again.
“My Mum basically wanted to kick me out! There was too much stuff. You can imagine your house filled with other people’s things. My Mum was not for it,” recalls Wendy.
“I then moved to running the business out of a three-bedroom house with my partner.
“I ran the business for about a year out of the bedrooms, and the lockdowns hit and everyone wanted to clear up their wardrobes, because what better time? That’s where it really started to snowball and that’s how we got to where we are today because at that time it was something that everyone needed.
“We’ve now moved into a warehouse; this is our second warehouse actually,” Wendy says.
“I’ve always wanted to be a business owner and I believe one of my biggest goals in life is to make impact. I think there is no better way than to start a small business and try and make one.
“In terms of our social media side, we’re very active,” she says. “We work with influencers across the country to help them sell their wardrobes, and they get a cut of the sales. It’s a great partnership.”
But there’s more to & Again’s success story. There is also their commitment to sustainability. “We encourage shoppers to be more mindful and make responsible fashion choices,” says Wendy.
They’re taking on the fashion waste crisis by eliminating plastic waste, using recyclable packaging, and upcycling leftover stock through local initiatives.
With over 100 billion clothing items produced each year*, and 60 percent ending up in landfills, Wendy and & Again recognise the urgent need for change.
“Our future goal includes expanding into the baby clothing market to address the issue of fast fashion in that segment.”
Wendy’s message is clear. “We encourage everyone to be part of the change and make a difference through conscious consumption.”