Skyline’s new project! “More than Boba- Meet Startup Founders &CEO from Taiwan”
The most dangerous place in the world? No! We are the most creative place in the world!
This new project will lead you to know more about Taiwan! We hope to share great Taiwanese startups to the world through interviewing founders of varied companies.
二拾衫TWENTYTHREE — Where Thrifting Becomes A Synonym for Quality
“We’re trying to dissociate the negative connotation toward pre-owned clothing through the deliberate use of the term ‘idling clothes’ (閒置衣物),” Oscar Yang, founder of 二拾衫TWENTYTHREE, explained. While thrifting has become an ongoing trend in numerous countries such as the United States, the Taiwanese general public’s attitude toward buying pre-owned items is still largely negative. Moreover, the options for pre-owned clothing are quite limited. However 二拾衫TWENTYTHREE is changing that.
Our interview was on an early Friday morning through Google Meets, but when we connected, Oscar was already in 二拾衫TWENTYTHREE’s perfectly lighted studio; all ready to go. Despite being confined by the video call screen, Oscar was able to animate us with his passion for sustainable fashion business. And his humorous responses makes him all the more approachable, just like 二拾衫TWENTYTHREE’s brand image — youthful and vibrant.
Oscar Yang has two roles, founder of 二拾衫TWENTYTHREE and a full-time business student
We were curious about why as full-time senior in college, he founded 二拾衫TWENTYTHREE in the first place. Oscar laughed and said that he has always loved to buy clothes, but the changes in his fashion tastes and body type left behind too much excess clothing for his small wardrobe. After discovering numerous international online thrifting platforms, he turned the solution to his own problem into a team project at school and built a website to resell “idling clothes.” While running the platform, Oscar and his team realized that they were actually able to solve people’s problem of excess clothing and alleviate the pollution brought by fast fashion. Moreover, because he has always been interested in entrepreneurship, this school project officially turned into a commercial brand, which is the TWENTYTHREE that we see today.
Originally, we assumed that the target customers of 二拾衫TWENTYTHREE are students or new graduates of the 20-30 age group. However, Oscar told us that most of their investors in the crowdfunding phase were 30-45 years old, while the age of the platform’s primary customers now have lowered by approximately 5 years to 25-40 years old. “The reason that students are not 二拾衫TWENTYTHREE’s target customers is because we have a fee for our clothing collecting service at the moment, which creates an entry barrier for students,” explained Oscar. “But we are planning to lower our fee in the future, allowing more consumers to enter the circular economy without financial burden and lowering the amount of fashion waste in Taiwan.”
“Despite knowing that fast fashion is harmful for the environment, Taiwanese people still purchase fast fashion products because there are no other options.”
“The Taiwanese public in general don’t have a high level of awareness of fashion pollution. Despite knowing that fast fashion is harmful for the environment, they still purchase fast fashion products because there are no other options,” Oscar admitted. Therefore, 二拾衫TWENTYTHREE aims to promote the benefits of buying pre-owned clothes by providing a new option for consumers. In order to increase potential customers’ purchase intention, the brand deliberately designed their website and visual presentation of pre-owned clothing to be aesthetically pleasing and represent quality. “Someone even criticized us once for making the platform so unlike a thrifting platform,” Oscar laughed. “This meant that we really changed the negative image of pre-owned clothes.” Moreover, the platform’s thirty-day return policy allows customers to build trust in the brand and to be more willing to buy pre-owned clothes under the premise of not being able to try them on.
Although consumers might raise concerns regarding the sanitary issues of pre-owned clothing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also led consumers to allocate more time and budget toward online shopping. Therefore, 二拾衫TWENTYTHREE is optimistic about the brand’s future growth, and is aiming to expand its product catalog to children’s clothes, accessories and handbags in the near future. The team’s long term goal is to find a place for the brand in the mainstream commercial market.
“I will always prioritize my team over academics, without a doubt”
When talking about the challenges he has faced when starting 二拾衫TWENTYTHREE, Oscar expressed that it’s the challenges that fuel his drive to keep on going. The skills that he has gained from starting up a business is incomparable to what he is able to learn at school. Therefore, “when facing time conflict between academics and running 二拾衫TWENTYTHREE,” said Oscar, “I will without a doubt choose 二拾衫TWENTYTHREE. I need to keep my team running.”
He also mentioned that the environment for startups in Taiwan still has a lot of space for improvement. Even though information and resources are quite accessible, issues such as mandatory military service, confusing governmental policies, and lack of support from schools makes Taiwan unfriendly for startups to develop.
“For those who want to start a business, make sure that you thrive under adverse environments,” advised Oscar, “and have a clear goal and mission in mind so that you won’t give up easily.” He also emphasized the importance of cultivating a keen sense in aesthetics and design. “Products and websites are always interconnected with visual design because only good visual designs can catch customers’ eyes,” he said. “And most importantly, being visionary allows one to plan for the future, creating a better long-term development for the business.”
Learn more about 二拾衫TWENTYTHREE: https://www.twentythree.com.tw/
Connect with 二拾衫 TWENTRYTHREE through Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/23twentythreetw/
Follow 二拾衫 TWENTRYTHREE by Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/23twentythree_tw/
Authors : Skyline overseas ambassadors 向序軒 ( Joy Hsiang), 游昀儒 (Rebecca Yu), 岳映緹 (Chloe Yueh)