Milda Mitkute, founder of Vinted: "I believe in 'less is more', I don't need so many clothes anymore"

Milda Mitkute, founder of Vinted: "I believe in ‘less is more’, I don’t need so many clothes anymore"

One of the biggest business ideas of recent years, Vintedcame up at a party. Milda Mitkute, then a 21-year-old woman studying cultural management and planning to pursue music or dance decided to move from her hometown of Kaunas to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, and with the move in sight she realized that she had too many clothes in her closet. So I thought about starting to sell it. “I shared the idea with fair [Janauskas, a quien casi acaba de conocer esa noche] and we started testing various possibilities of a platform where our family and friends could sell and to exchange clothing, to provide a practical solution to a common, everyday problem”, he recalls.

That idea that they were passionate about is today the largest international platform in Europe for the sale of fashion from second hand between individuals, with community which has more than 50 million members – and a profile mainly of women between the ages of 18 and 45 – in 16 countries around the world. Europe Y North America. “But it started as a personal project, intended for me and a close network of friends. Even the success In our country it was unthinkable. For both of us it was a hobby that allows us to experiment with things outside of our jobs, without making money from it, “he says.

However, his platform caught the interest of the people and the media in Lithuania. “It grew instantly and attracted investors, which led us to expand to other countries. Within the first three years, Vinted It was still a small company. We hardly earned anything, we did everything ourselves, from the development of functionalities to the first initiatives of marketing“, he confesses. But later, with the investors, everything changed very quickly. “We got excited about turning this into a big project and a more global mission,” she explains.

still today Milda he is surprised at that success. “Is a sensation constant having gone from zero to one hundred. Vinted he was my ‘first child’, and I am excited to see how he is developing. It may sound strange, but at first my friends didn’t show much interest. I remember that just Justas and I were super happy. The rest said it was a play short and soon to be over. Even my grandmother kept asking me when she would find a ‘normal’ job. She now she has started to feel proudbut it took 13 years!”

When they decided to professionalize the business they started by Germanythanks to mikukas blankets, his first investor and whom Milda calls his ‘business angel’. “The success convinced us that our idea was very much in line with the spirit of that time, we realized that the second-hand market had a future real; a garment should not be used only one season, but should be consumed more circular. People look for nice pieces to prices decent,” he says.

The ‘Milda of Vinted’

But that takeoff did not make them grow as experts in businessthey were still two students managing a start-up. “To be honest, she wasn’t always easy. I was young, I had no experience and no idea how to run my own business. Besides, I must emphasize that the success did not arrive overnight, and there were some that were not so pretty: it takes a lot effort and contribution emotional to bring it to fruition. I had to work hard and give up to many things, it is what had to be done to carry out a global business”, he admits.

After spending many years on Vinted (“When I do something, I always try to dedicate myself completely to it”), Milda opted to give a turn radical and focus entirely on his family and his personal projects. He is currently a shareholder and is in “close contact with the team” but is not involved in the management business. “It wasn’t a decision easy to take; Vinted will always be my first baby, stay that way in my heart. For a long time I was so involved in work that I had no personal life. It took me some time to realize that I enjoy being just ‘Milda from Vinted’. I felt that I was and am much more. So I started working on finding the Balance between work and Personal life, doing many experiments and exercises. And I finally managed to find it.”

But who is Milda Matkute ​​beyond the co-founder of Vinted? A woman who always wanted to form a large family and that he has never stopped devising. “I consider myself a person curious, open-minded and easy going. And one student for life!” she replies. “To be honest, it’s very difficult to explain myself in one sentence. I was always afraid of being just a mother, just a businesswoman, just a daughter… I see life as a chance to explore many identities and many different papers. I feel like I’m a bit of everything. At this stage of my life I am mother of four children and a little farmer. I am also a great reader of books (among the last fiction she has read, ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’, by Ernest Hemingway, and ‘Animal Farm’, by George Orwell), investor, a bit of an influencer, mentor and advisor”.

Therefore, although he feels happy and proud of what Vinted is today and of what she and Justas have achieved, her life has changed much. “I am very grateful to be able to see growing up my four children and explore the world with them. Right now I dedicate 60% of my time to them, and since I’m not in a business active I can afford to leave the rest of the weather for myself,” she says.

Plans that go through the key issues for her, the topics socialclimate change, artificial intelligence and education. “That is, what will the world be like in 20 years, when my children grow up. If one day they ask me: ‘Mom, what have you done to improve the situation on our Earth?’ I want to have one response. I have started studying again, working on various masters and exploring the connection between climate change and our society. I feel like I have a lot of homework to do to figure out where to go.”

Are businesses like Vinted the future when it comes to sustainable fashion and the circular economy?
The second-hand trend is part of a general movement towards more responsible consumption, we cannot deny that society has changed. The environment, global warming, climate change… We can no longer ignore these issues. If you buy everything new and binge on fast fashion, you know you are contributing to the destruction of the Earth. In that sense, we have become more aware. The younger generations are more aware and their concern for the environment is helping to draw attention to possible solutions. From this perspective, the second hand can be part of the solution to the challenges that the fashion industry faces in terms of impact on the climate, although not the only one.
Now you have the perfectly organized closet? What would we find if we opened it?
It is my personal desire, but in reality it is very far from that, although over the years I have become much more organized. I don’t need as many clothes anymore and I believe that “less is more”. Quality is more important than quantity. All this helps me to have fewer things and the fewer clothes, the more I take care of each one and the easier it is to have everything in order. So one day you will have a perfectly organized closet.
As a fashion lover, what is the garment that cannot be missing from your wardrobe?
The black leggings and the oversized t-shirts are also black. Although now I try to add more colors, I’m getting bored of using black all the time!
And your fetish garment?
The large and comfortable sweaters, fluffy and colorful.
Do you still use Vinted to sell what you no longer want and renew yourself?
Of course. When Vinted was founded, I used to shop at thrift stores, but I didn’t like it very much: they were small, had limited supply, and sometimes it was hard to find a size. However, the second hand has changed a lot, and my consumption habits too. First of all, when I buy something I ask myself if I really need it and how many times I will wear it. Nowadays, opting for the second hand as a first option has become a very natural habit for me. And knowing that I will have to find a future owner for what I buy has helped me be even more responsible.
What do you buy the most on Vinted?
Items for my children. They grow up so fast and get bored so easily if they read a book or play a puzzle a couple of times that I always try to find something new to keep them entertained. It is a good practice to develop a sense of ecological responsibility in children. Children learn to share and parents educate them from the beginning to value the long life that things can have.
And what do you recommend to buy your friends?
My first recommendation is to think about whether you need something “new” (first hand but also second hand!) in your wardrobe. Think about how many times you are going to wear it, if it fits with your style and combines with other pieces… After all, Vinted was born to cover a personal need: having too many clothes in my closet. If you know what you need, the Vinted catalog is great if your needs change over time. With four kids, my body has changed a lot over the last five years, a constant cycle of bigger and smaller sizes, and it’s great to replace and resell items.
Do you know the fashion made in Spain?
Yes, one of my favorite brands is Camper. I love it, I appreciate how beautiful and durable your products are.

Milda, the woman who thought and created a empire with the sole intention of empty a closet, He considers that he has not yet fulfilled his family project. “In a few years I see myself as a mother of five children. And after a maternity so active I would like to focus on global initiatives on how to improve our world”, anticipates. “I still have many other plans that I am currently working on, let’s see what the future holds for us.” future!”.

Source: www.elmundo.es

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