Eileen Tan left oil and gas job to build fashion start-up

Vintagewknd’s co-founders Eileen Tan and Eden Tay.


Creating sustainable trend with a classic vibe could sound like a frightening process to most, nevertheless it did not cease 28-year-old Eileen Tan from quitting her job to embark on the journey.

After leaving her full-time job within the oil and fuel trade in 2019, Tan got down to make Vintagewknd a sustainable different to quick trend — all within the identify of minimizing the waste that she witnessed within the trend trade.

Her dream was to design and create classic clothes by utilizing previous materials and making them look model new. However that journey was not all the time simple.

Folks and companies have an interest to [push] developments quick and laborious … issues to do with the setting get misplaced.

Eileen Tan

co-founder, Vintagewknd

“It is loads concerning the mindset. Folks and companies have an interest to [push] developments quick and laborious. So, issues to do with the setting get misplaced within the course of — which is one thing that in fact we wrestle with as nicely, like creating sustainable clothes,” Tan not too long ago informed CNBC’s Inside E-commerce.

Making sustainability fashionable

Tan, collectively together with her accomplice Eden Tay, first began curating and promoting classic clothes on a part-time foundation on on-line market Carousell in 2015. It wasn’t till 2019, after they took the enterprise full time, that they began specializing in sustainability.

With all the fabric for his or her reworked clothes coming from garment waste factories and manufacturing strains, upcycling is essential to their enterprise. Upcycling refers turning waste supplies or undesirable merchandise into one thing helpful, and on this case may very well be luggage or clothes.

Vintagewknd’s co-founders Eileen Tan and Eden Tay.


The duo have since left Carousell to arrange their very own e-commerce retailer and department out to different social media accounts comparable to Instagram, the place they’ve over 34,000 followers. Their advertising and marketing efforts are actually primarily targeted on TikTok, the place they movie area of interest styling movies based mostly on themes like Winnie the Pooh, Pokemon, and tv reveals from the ’90s.

When requested concerning the degree of demand for sustainable clothes, Tan mentioned that sizing and worth factors are boundaries to entry as garments are usually made in smaller batches, making the merchandise dearer.

Shifting client habits

There may be simply a lot waste on the earth. I’ll positively look into [diversifying our product range].

Eileen Tan

co-founder, Vintagewknd

“As much as 90% of consumers wish to purchase one thing from a sustainable model or retailer. 85% of them are keen to pay considerably extra for that,” mentioned Gwendolyn Lim, Accomplice at Bain & Firm. “So, if the platform is ready to work on this concept of sustainability, that may be a sport changer.”

Tan mentioned the shoppers of Vintagewknd are usually receptive to the thought of preserving the sustainable message — even in trend.

Whilst retailers like on-line trend model Zalora have publicly made sustainability a precedence, Tan hopes different corporations will even catch that imaginative and prescient. “With a purpose to make a worldwide influence, bigger trend companies do must make the change,” she mentioned.

Vintagewknd’s co-founders Eden Tay and Eileen Tan.


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