Trading for: 3 years
Sector: Clothing & fashion
Reason for funding
Stock purchase & cost saving
- Unsecured business loan
- Fixed repayments
- £30,000 over 18 months
- Purchased new fleet
- £5,000 saved each month
- Stock ready for busy period
In recent years, the popularity of vintage clothing in the UK has soared, and for many reasons. With increasingly tight purse-strings dragging consumers away from big high-street brands, a general public becoming more aware of the environmental and social effects of the manufacturing of clothing, and a gradual changing of attitudes towards a 'quality over quantity' mindset, sales of vintage and retro clothing have soared. Fashion-focused entrepreneurs have been quick to take advantage of this trend, with pop-up shops, clothing exchanges, and pay-per-kilo vintage markets appearing up and down the country.
The team behind Preloved Kilo run events throughout the UK visiting two different cities every weekend, where fashion lovers and bargain hunters can find anything from belts and loafers to dresses and jeans. Customers flocking to the events pay per kilo, enabling savvy sartorialists to pick up some real bargains - including designer pieces from the likes of Burberry and Gucci.
Directors Mark and Wayne and General Manager Steve have come from backgrounds in hospitality and sales to head up this innovative company. Starting out selling individual items at vintage clothing fairs, the team quickly grew their contacts in the industry, and after approaching wholesalers, realised they could purchase in bulk, by the kilo, and then sell to the consumer in the same way. Having put on around 55 events in their first year, the demand has led to them opening a warehouse in their home town of Rotherham, with around 100 events planned for their third year.
Keeping up with growth
Growing so quickly, however, has led to a number of challenges for the Preloved Kilo team. With between six and seven tonnes of vintage clothing brought to every event and two events every weekend, to say that logistics and organisation are crucial to the smooth running of the business is a bit of an understatement. On top of this, the team have to constantly replenish their stock with high-quality and on-trend garments.
Having initially transported their stock to each event using a small fleet of hired vehicles, the directors sought funding to purchase a number of vans, enabling them to save on the costs of hiring. The funding would also enable them to purchase stock earlier in the year at a significantly lower price.
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