Turkiye: Auctioneer runs thrift shop for women only

A woman determined to counter the frenzy of consumerism has opened a shop in Istanbul’s Şişli district where women can sell second-hand items.

Since 2016, Nesteren Şencan’s shop has enabled hundreds of women to buy and sell second-hand goods.

In the shop, only women can sell goods. In Şencan’s words, “You can sell goods to men, but men cannot sell goods here.”

Thanks to the sharing-oriented business model she created for women, Şencan was selected as a “Changemaker” in the 14th season of the Sabancı Foundation Changemakers Program this year.

Speaking to daily Hürriyet, Şencan told the story of her ground-breaking shop and the motivation behind it.

“I have always been against the fast-fashion culture. In fact, neither I nor my husband have worn any clothes other than second-hand ones for 25 years. We used to shop at the flea market in Topkapı, where everything was available. I never wanted to be a part of that consumerism frenzy of constantly buying new products. I want to contribute to a sharing economy, and I think I am paying my debt to nature in this way.”

Stating that she used to sell second-hand products on a stall at the Feriköy Bazaar, Şencan noted that over time, she started to notice that both customers and shopkeepers had “marginalizing, sexist attitudes towards women sellers.”

“There were no women at the auctions. Men were somehow not allowing women to sell things in the auctions. I had a stall in that bazaar for four years and made observations.”

Determined to turn the game around in favor of women, Şencan established a thrift store platform called “The Women’s Matinee,” where women who want to buy or sell second-hand goods can feel safe and be a part of a community.

Adding that her main goal is to establish thrift shops all around the country and put an end to the fast-fashion and consumerism trend in Türkiye,Şencan said that hundreds of women are contributing to this sharing economy in their weekly auctions.


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