However, the student in the Management and Accounting course at the Instituto Superior de Contabilidade e Administração, in Porto, has often encountered the same obstacles during these days of buying and selling second hand. On the one hand, to sell you would have to be distributing them to various stores or different online platforms, where you sell a little of everything. There was nothing thought out, specifically for this. On top of this, there was no service that would make life easier for those who want to unscrew the closet, going home to get what they no longer need.
In times of pandemic, studying at home, Ana Catarina Monteiro remembered to create the solution to both problems. He joined forces with his brother Fernando Monteiro, 32 years old, working in the management and logistics area, a pair to which three more team members joined to carry out the plan that was designed: to create the Mycloma, an online platform for the collection, purchase and sale of second-hand clothing.
“There are a lot of people who are not willing to go to the trouble of donating or selling their clothes, or putting them on the various online platforms. So I spoke to my brother, who saw that this was a real problem. a model to reach this solution “, says Ana Catarina Monteiro to MAGG.
And they ended up solving these two problems: those who like second-hand bargains, have a virtual storefront here, where you can do your shopping – and where you will find pieces from Zara to others by Levi’s or Bimba y Lola; and those who have clothes that are no longer needed, can request the collection service through the website (and that works from north to south of the country), so that later those same items will appear in the digital store.
But in addition to being freshly washed, the clothes that go on sale must respect criteria: it must be in good condition, without permanent stains, tears or odors; underwear, sleeping, bathing clothes (except with a label), or household clothes (towels, sheets, blankets) are not accepted. Jewelry, fakes, wedding dresses or wedding suits are also not accepted.
Regarding prices, Ana Catarina Mendes explains that after pre-selection of the items that were delivered (stage in which it is ensured that they follow the criteria mentioned above), other details are analyzed in order to arrive at a “fair” value: the brand, the marks of use or the actuality of the piece. “We research, we see the brand new prices, and we try to reach a fair value.”
And the pandemic? Nothing to fear. “As soon as the order arrives, whoever requests the collection receives an email saying that the delivery is already in the office and we wait a few days before proceeding with the recovery – so the clothes, which will have already been washed, have time to rest and air. When we open the boxes, we take care to put on masks and gloves. That’s what the height requires. ”
All items that are not offered for sale can go two ways: either back to the old owners’ home or towards associations or non-profit organizations.
The project, based in Porto, was launched on May 18, with a team consisting of six people: in addition to the Monteiro brothers, it includes Raquel, Fernando’s wife, who manages social networks, customer support and deals with issues related to logistics and stock; Rodrigo Passos, responsible for managing orders, collections, shipments and publication of articles on the website; Inês Juvandes, graphic designer, responsible for the brand image and communication on social networks, not to mention Margarida Moreno, project volunteer, based in Lisbon.
The first phase of Mycloma was an immediate success. “It was a completely new project and the truth is that it surprised us a lot on the positive side: in just over a month, we got 5,000 pieces, 250 collection requests and donated more than 2,000 items to associations and NGOs. We have orders every day, which is incredible. ”
With this idea of hers, Ana Catarina Monteiro and the rest of the team ended up without weekends. Everyone has full-time jobs elsewhere and, suddenly, they won another one. It is called Mycloma: the combination of the terms “my”, clothes “and” market “.