If you been to Ipoh the capital city of Perak a State in Malaysia one of the attractions is Lam Looking street. Popularly known as Lokein, it is similar to car boot sale or flea market in Europe. It is where you can find stuff that you don’t normally find in your normal retail store.
Everything from second-hand clothes, antiques, and vintage products is up for sale. So it is really intriguing to see an online market place named Lokein as one of the exhibitors at the Perak Startup Expo. So we interview Mr. Wan Mohd Hafiz Wan Idris. the CEO of Lokein a new marketplace for vintage and used items.
The Second-hand Economy
A quick check on available statistics reveals the total secondhand apparel is set to double in 5 years amounting to more than $5 billion USD with the resale sector driving the growth. A similar trend is observed in Canada and the Australian second-hand economy is valued at $49 billion.
The same sentiment was uttered by Hafiz, the CEO of Lokein “The community is quite huge and it is growing rapidly there are 500,000 members on social media alone that of over 200 groups of buying and selling of vintage products,” he said.
One of the main problems of buying and selling on social media is security, there is no way the buyer can know that the product is genuine, in some cases, the buyer made the payment but did not receive the product. And then there is the problem of scammers who are prowling the social media waiting to take advantage of any loophole they can find to make a quick buck.
“I saw an opportunity there to provide a market place where buyers and sellers are protected and trading of vintage items can be done securely and ethically,” said Hafiz
The Inspiration Behind Lokein
Lokein is driven and managed by 5 team members who really believe in the second-hand economy. Inspired by the brick and mortar Sunday flea market in Lam Loo King Street. They want to provide a marketplace that allows people to buy and sell vintage products with peace of mind. They even have a moneyback guarantee policy.
According to Hafiz, research has shown that there are at least 18 unused items. These items have the potential to be converted into cash by using the Lokein marketplace. This would put extra cash in people’s hands.
“One person’s trash can be a treasure to another You never know that things lying round in your house could be a collector’s item that you can cash in,” said Hafiz.
Still, to a normal person who is alien to the vintage culture, it is hard to fathom that there is a demand for old clothes. According to Hafiz if you ever attended the Lam Loo King flea market, you’ll know that it is not a place where you just trade old stuff. It is about a culture of vintage enthusiasts.
Lokein has already received pre-seed investment in a venture building and accelerator program and they have already generated income from the Lokein platform.
There is actually a whole tribe that is passionate about vintage products and the clan is growing there several reasons why people would want to have vintage products in their inventory
Let’s take vintage clothes for example. Why is it making a comeback and becoming popular? One of the reasons is that consumers believe that mainstream fashion has become less unique and high street fashion is too generic. This becomes more apparent as time moves on and trends come back to the catwalk making it easier to integrate old looks into modern wardrobes. Even fashion designers will often look to vintage for inspiration
Consumers are waking up to the fact that vintage be it clothes or other times can be adaptable to the latest trends, they are actually timeless. This is one of the main reasons that vintage has become so popular. They will always be in style in their own way. You can pick up the latest trend and have something that’s only good for a few weeks, or you could buy something vintage you can enjoy for years.
Expression and Personality
Vintage clothing allows people to express themselves while attempting to create a paradox of fashion; they fit in while also standing out. It’s hard to do that, but anything is possible with vintage clothing. It can not be denied that vintage clothing can also be an investment because it becomes more valuable with time
Soul and History
Let’s be honest and admit that vintage clothing has a soul to it. There’s much more to vintage than just being old and used. There are a history and art to them, and they carry with them the stories and memories. Owning a piece of vintage keeps those people and their history and artistry alive.
Lokein Future Plans
“Ultimately Lokein aims to be a household name for vintage products and collector’s item if not the world at least in the region because we know that Asia has a rich tapestry of history that can be shared through vintage products.”
Lokein aims to be more than just a market place in the second-hand economy the hub for collector’s item and vintage products in Southeast Asia. So, Lokein aims to be the place where vintage enthusiasts and collectors congregate and communicate about the vintage culture.