How Thrift by Humble started
Discover the humble beginnings of Thrift as told by the founders themselves!
The founders of Thrift by Humble, Niña Opida and Josef Werker, met while they were both working for a startup based here in the Philippines. In the course of their work—both were handling big accounts under business development—they realized they shared the same passion for creating impact in the lives of people.
Niña admits, “It sounded very vague and cliche at the time, but we wanted to make an impact in the lives of people. To help them realize there is still hope and we can still take action to improve our lives and our communities.”
That shared passion led them to work towards finding—or creating—something that will allow them to realize their goal. They dreamt of building something that created meaningful impact, while being commercially exciting enough to achieve hyper-growth level scale, so that it could impact even more people globally.
Soon, Humble Sustainability was born.
Humble Sustainability started out by creating impact in the lives of individuals, households and our planet through its decluttering service. Driven by their growth mindset and desire to create a bigger impact, the founders started to think of other ways to expand Humble.
Then, an opportunity came when one of the advisors of Humble—who happens to be the CEO of a logistics company—mentioned that they have over a thousand items lying around in their warehouse.
He wanted them to liquidate these items.
“We had no clue what it would look like and what to do. We’re thankful we have our consultant who is well-versed in this world. When we got these items, we were surprised to discover that 95% of them were in good condition!” Niña shares.
As if a confirmation from the universe that they were on the right path, the two also stumbled upon statistics about excess stocks and aging items while they were liquidating this inventory!
That was when the founders decided to pause their decluttering service and help businesses shift to sustainable liquidation. Today, Humble helps businesses recover high revenue from their e-commerce returns and excess inventory that may otherwise end up in landfills. E-commerce businesses lost $1 trillion from their returns in 2021 alone. The environmental impact of returns is equally massive, with 2 billion tons of e-commerce returns disposed of in landfills that same year.
With the guidance of their consultant and advisors, the founders quickly set up their e-commerce store in Shopee to test what would eventually become Thrift’s business model.
Niña explains, “We started out in Shopee to understand the market and our Thrifters. By the third time that we were sustainably liquidating items from this logistics company, we realized there is potential and a huge opportunity for us to solve bigger problems.”
This opportunity was an answered prayer for the founders as well.
“I remember Josef and I walking along the streets of BGC, thinking of names and saying, ‘I can’t wait to have something under Humble!’” Niña recalls. “We brainstormed for names like THRIFT only, Thrift for Humble and many more but we were really set on using the word ‘thrift’.”
When asked why the word “thrift”, she explains, “I’m in love with thrifting in the UK! Even before Humble started, I have always dreamed of bringing quality thrifting here in the Philippines and bringing it online, hence this term!”
Niña and Josef eventually decided on “Thrift by Humble” to keep the name simple and still attached to the Humble brand. Today, Thrift by Humble has stores in Shopee, Lazada and Shopify.
The Humble team has grown from two co-founders to a team of 30 young and seasoned professionals alike, united by their desire to make an impact in the Philippines and beyond.
As Humble continues to expand its operations, the team is constantly looking for new talent who are eager to be a part of this exciting journey towards sustainability. If you’re interested in contributing your knowledge and skills for a cause, feel free to check out our LinkedIn pages to see which roles may be suitable for you!
Thrift now has over 25 clients and partners less than one year after its launch.
“We are so thankful for our partners because if not for them, we would not have any items to offer to our Thrifters!” Niña says.
But, first things first: what exactly is a Thrift partner?
A Thrift partner can be one of two things: a Humbler or a Thrifter.
- A Humbler is a business that sells their items with Humble
- A Thrifter is anyone who buys items from Humble and Thrift by Humble. There are two types of Thrifters:
- A B2B Thrifter is a B2B bulk buyer
- A B2C Thrifter is an individual buyer on Thrift, whether on our Shopify, Lazada or Shopee platform
Humble Sustainability and Thrift now has almost 30,000 community members!
If you are interested in getting the best deals online, exploring circular living and doing your part in helping our planet, join our community of Thrifters today!