Background and objective
We are doing this project due to three issues we see:
- Supply – Clothes are costly to people and planet to create. This is from the materials we use, the conditions they are made in, or the way the are distributed.
- Access – Quality clothes are not affordable to many people. This is also the case for low quality clothes with short fashion-cycles and lifecycles, resulting in high use cost over time.
- Waste – Our systems is not designed to deal with clothes needing repair, or at the end of use.
We started with the ambition to develop a “One swap shop” for giving clothes a second life, affordably. We were looking to develop a platform that allows users to Swap, Borrow, Lease and Buy preloved clothes, supported by repair and amending services, classes and general events. However, after engaging a few partners we saw a gap in the market; a physical space where people can come together to experience the “one swap shop” in person.
So, we have changed our MVP to an community engagement project, focused on three things:
- Head – We work with schools and families to share our knowhow events, engagement and community activation.
- Hand – We give a helping hand! We get stuck into the preparation and running of each event. This includes specific support for our student programme.
- Heart -We believe that our impact should not just start and end with our events. We work with local charity and organisations to support local people in need, support our student volunteers, and ensure unwanted clothes go to a responsible place.
This is the first step to reaching our vision:
- Attitudes – We want to change the behaviour around clothes; keeping better quality clothes, that are more accessible to all, in use for longer.
- Systems – We want to tackle the linear and proscriptive structure of of the clothing market, ensuring less waste, accounted for cost, and a fairer way of doing things.
- Equity – We want sustainable clothing to be accessible to all, and rather a drain on the environment and people, be a way to connect, share and grow.