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Green Guide: ReLove Exchange

Seventy per cent of Dutch consumers don’t know what to do with their clothing and this is a story about something that can actually change it.

ReLove Exchange is a vintage shop located in one of the most vibrant areas of Amsterdam - De Pijp. However, there is also something that makes this shop to stand out among all the other second-hand shops in the city. Therefore, we have decided to visit Heidi, the owner of the ReLove Exchange, and find out more about its business model and many other exciting facts.

The idea started when Heidi stayed in Amsterdam for a few months but had to go back to California for some time. As she had brought lots of quality clothing here, she did not know what to do with it when going back home afterwards. “I knew there wasn’t something here for getting paid on the same day for the nice quality clothing,” tells us Heidi about shops where people can just bring in their stuff and immediately get paid on the spot in either cash or shopping credit. In Amsterdam, there are also some other shops which offer an opportunity to get paid for your clothes but only when one item is sold, what to some extent is not efficient at all. Therefore, after a few months of forming the idea, planning and organizing, she brought the whole system over here and only about 15 weeks ago opened the store.

Now, besides looking for the second location for her store, she also has a team of trained buyers who can go through the clothes on the spot and actually know what to look for. All the clothes can be used but should not have any holes, stains or smoke smell, as well as, they try to stay away for some more expensive and high-end pieces, but do accept Adidas, Nike and even H&M (depends on departments).

We have also asked Heidi about the whole business model and the way she manages to make a profit. “I get this question a lot,” she smiles, “a lot of people, more than half, choose their credit to go shopping. This means that they are actually spending money in the store anyway, so they get gift cards when bring clothes”.

Therefore, she is not losing any money in this case. However, when people choose cash, she is not losing as well. They only get 20 % of the whole price and even when pricing an item half off during sale - she does not lose anything as well.

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