An Instagram store launched during the 2020 lockdown is an amalgamation of fantasies and imagination. 'Ismat Store' founded by a young activist and performer, Afreen Akhtar, who resorted to exploring her creativity through clothing in order to work on her mental health. The ideas from her books, paintings, poems and wardrobe filled a void and culminated in the creation of a thrift store.
The name ‘Ismat’ pays homage to the great Urdu writer Ismat Chughtai and its literal meaning is ‘virtue’. Creating an experience of fancy and originality, the store truly indulges its customers, as with each object on sale one also receives a piece of literature (fiction/non-fiction) or art. Additionally beyond clothing the store sells hand-picked and affordable accessories, memories, books, letters, artworks, music and much more.
The personal and unique store is embracing sustainability and refusing to partake in the viscous production cycles leading to excessive waste. Instead they are promoting a lifestyle of reusing and recycling everyday items. They carry vintage items dating back to the 50's and 60's and their packaging is also eco-friendly, created using repurposed paper and other similar materials.
Ismat is a gender neutral store that does not limit itself to boxes, rather helps anyone and everyone explore their self expression through a range of options. By venturing outside the binaries in fashion, they are creating a market space that is more easily accessible to regular consumers as well. Additionally Afreen makes sure that the size range is inclusive and the store carries clothing up to XXXL. Overall creating a comforting experience using imaginative and experimental clothing.
Explore their collection here.
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