Make your clothes earn their keep with Antidote’s rental serviceThe dress owner receives anywhere from 20-40 percent of the fee when other customers select their dress for rental.
It all began when Manish Jung Thapa noticed his sister becoming restless over what to wear before attending any event or function despite having a full wardrobe. He learnt that his sister, like many others, faced a dilemma over their wardrobe and their only solution was to buy a brand new piece of clothing.
He started doing market research about renting a dress for a few months while working at an advertising agency. Thapa, who is originally from Bardiya, found that people do not want to spend large sums of money to buy a dress each time a new function appeared on the calendar.
To see if his research held up, he set out by borrowing a few dresses from his friends and started Antidote in June 2019 with just Rs 50,000. “I worked as a part timer on my own business for a few months and left the ad agency job completely four months ago,” he said.
“Your closet is our inventory,” said Thapa, 26, who is also pursuing a Masters in Business Administration from King’s College. Dresses that have not seen the sunlight after being worn once or twice are the main source of inventory for the company. The company then rents out such clothes on the owners’ behalf. “Simply put, we are like the Tootle or Pathao for clothes,” he said.
To rent out your dress, one has to fill out a form including the purchase details and the company scrutinises the clothing item before being approved for rental. The dress owner receives anywhere from 20-40 percent of the fee when other customers select their dress for rental. A notification is sent to the dress owner each time it gets rented out. At the end of the month, the company deposits the amount into the dress owner’s bank account.
According to the company's designer, they select outfits every two months based on the current fashion trend. Once the dress if finalised, the company does a photoshoot, mends the outfits if necessary and washes it after each rental. The company also has an insurance policy for dresses in case of loss and damage.
To rent a dress, one can visit Antidote’s store in Pulchowk, Lalitpur. If the dress does not fit, the company will provide fitting services as well.
Antidote has dresses worth anywhere from Rs2,000-200,000 in its store and customers can choose to rent one for Rs900 to Rs18,000 per day, depending on the dress.
The company has been offering lehenga, saree, kurta salwar, anarkali, western gown, Christian wedding dress for women and sports jacket, formal coats, suits, daura suruwal for men. “Our stock is 80 percent dresses and the remaining outfits are for men,” he said.