Tuesday, October 19

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Conscious Retail Therapy at The Good Karma Treasure Shop

Good Karma Treasure Shop Founder Vijaya Josephine Pais speaks with The Ticket Fairy about her unique initiative and its booming success!

India’s famed vacation spot, Goa, is best known for its community. Residents from all walks of life working in unison towards a common goal. With the ongoing climate crisis taking a toll on this ecologically-rich state, many countermeasures have been put in place, large and small. One such initiative goes by the name of Offbeat Goa – an eco-tourism platform dedicated to promoting sustainable and conscious living. Since its inception 6 years ago, Offbeat Goa has become a driving force behind Goa’s community of conscious consumers. Vijaya Pais, the woman behind this one-of-its-kind online platform, tells us about how Offbeat Goa came to be.

Vijaya Pais

Offbeat Goa started out as a Facebook group called Offseason Goa back in 2014,” says Vijaya, “to mainly promote cool, fun stuff happening in Goa during the monsoon when everyone thinks Goa is dead.” She recalls friends calling her ahead of their trip for recommendations. “I could never remember when I was put on the spot so I made this group to basically list stuff that I liked and wanted to go to myself. The group grew organically, people were interactive and helpful.” In 2018, Pais decided to change the name of her Facebook group to Offbeat Goa and began organizing all her events under this umbrella. Offbeat Goa is currently home to a community of 35,000 members, growing daily.

While Offbeat Goa grew in popularity, Vijaya Pais began extending her efforts within the community of Goa. “I started working on other projects I cared about. I launched a vegan, organic farmers market called the New Earth Gathering, [and]a volunteering network, Sisterhood of Goa meetups”. Along with these initiatives, came The Good Karma Treasure Shop. “People donate preloved, gently used clothes, books, bags, accessories, home decor, etc and all that was sold off at a pop-up sale and proceeds were given to different charities in Goa” says Pais.  So how did this idea come to be?

Vijaya Pais at New Earth Gathering

“It started with me wanting to give away my unused clothes, I didn’t have the heart to give my party clothes to an orphanage or an old age home. I spoke to a friend who also had a lot of stuff to give away and together we had the first sale,” Vijaya states. Her motive of wanting to donate something worthwhile to local orphanages and NGOs resulted in sizable cash donations, satisfied shoppers and zero-waste! “Proceeds from that sale went to a local orphanage. It felt good giving them money instead of useless clothes and it was so satisfying seeing our clothes go to people who actually loved and valued them! GKTS took off from there, I’d organise a sale every two months, people would throng from all over to pick up high fashion steal deals for between Rs 50/- and 300/- . You can revamp your whole wardrobe for the price of one branded outfit!

 

 

 

When it came to organizing, managing and promoting The Good Karma Treasure Shop, Pais took to the task. “To be honest it was just me managing everything for the longest time! From designing flyers to organising drop off points to promoting and marketing, to co-ordinating! I don’t know how I did it! I would get fabulous volunteers to help sort stuff the day before the sale and on the day of the sale and after every sale, I would swear never to have another one cause I was so exhausted!” With global lockdown restrictions in full-swing since March, Pais had to evolve GKTS to ‘the new normal’. She did this by shifting operations to Offbeat Goa online.  “I took a break from my work during the lockdown and got back with a bang in October. The shop is now online and I still have a pop up every month. I have dedicated people working with me now and that helps take the load off.”

A Good Karma Treasure Shop sale

With the arrival of fast fashion brands, it has become increasingly easier to discard unwanted clothes. But with the help of GKTS sales, being environmentally-conscious goes hand-in-hand with being fashionable. “One piece of clothing moves from one person to the other instead of landing up at a landfill. This is not just great for the environment it also raises awareness and funds for local charities and NGOs doing an amazing job!”

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Writer, musician and always covered in stray fur. When I'm not tapping away at a keyboard, you'll find me attending to meows and woofs.

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