Help us build the SwopItApp for teens to swop pre-loved clothes digitally, pushing back against fast fashion and its toxic and polluting practices!
Fast fashion is one of the most polluting industries that people don't talk about! From the manufacturing process to the transporting of clothes to the thousands of pounds of discarded clothes that end up in landfill - fast fashion is responsible for 10% of the world's total carbon emissions!
That's why SwopItUp supports young people from all backgrounds to learn more about fast fashion and its impact on the planet and climate crisis, to take action, and to fight the industry with pre-loved clothes.
SwopItUp was founded by then 15-year-old Zaqiya Cajee. A young person herself who has a passion for helping the environment. She wanted to be an active force of change in the way we use and reuse resources from our environment, especially textiles and clothing, and to give young people a voice. Hence, SwopItUp was created as a way to combine action to combat the fast fashion industry but to also give the opportunity for young people to join in and learn soft skills in the process.
SwopItUp helps empower young people to organise clothing exchange programmes in their secondary schools, called SwopShops. We provide the tools, frameworks and materials, whilst young people build their skills tackling waste streams and fast fashion! Within the last two years, we've set up 5 successful SwopShops, and had 7 more secondary schools signed on before Covid-19 hit.
Due to Covid, we were forced to revise our in-school SwopShops. Our young volunteers came up with the idea to adapt by creating the SwopItApp. This will allow young people to swop their pre-loved clothing with other young people at their secondary schools through a digital app.
On the SwopItApp, young people would post their pre-loved clothing and once purchased, the 'seller' would bring in the clothing and a team of young people would ensure the clothing was properly stored and sanitised until the 'buyer' would pick it up from school - much like a click and collect system. Once Covid-19 restrictions are removed, the app will join our overall tool portfolio, allowing us to collect more precise data around the number of clothes saved from landfill, to attract new stakeholders and to better measure the impact of our work.
Unlike current technologies, young people will only swop with other young people in their secondary schools and the swopping will utilise a tokens system rather than real money. This removes the cost and environmental impact of shipping and reinforces the idea of inclusivity and focusses on the innate value of the items of clothing themselves, not the monetary value. This will also help to create a small, swopping community which can influence the wider community outside schools too, driving a national movement!
Young people are at the heart of everything we do - our teen volunteers came up with the initial idea for the SwopItApp! They drove it from the ideation phase, so they could increase the awareness of fast fashion. We will continue to centre young people's voices through each stage of development, prototyping and creating and marketing the app!
Because of Covid-19 we had to stop all SwopShops in schools at a time that was critical for SwopItUp. New schools had just signed up for the initiative and we were just getting off our feet. Even as Covid-19 restrictions are easing, schools are still not fully in the position to host SwopShops, as schools try to navigate a new reality.
This caused us to rethink our path, and with the help of young people themselves, the idea of the App was created and we have been developing this ever since, along with virtual ways to involve young people in SwopItUp. The SwopItApp will create a new sense of resilience for SwopItUp and will give more flexibility to schools that wish to host the initiative. Transitioning from an in-person, in-school project to an easy to download app will not only help us continue delivering our flagship project, but to scale and grow nationally and internationally!
Due to the current lack of financing in the SwopShops, our development relies heavily on volunteers and third-party funding. The money raised will ultimately go towards the development of our app so that we can scale our SwopShops and spread the SwopItUp vision nationally!
For more information, please visit us at swopitup.org
This is one of the beautiful pieces of youth artwork available for those who donate for the £100 reward!
Here are 2 of the 4 lovely tote bags available for those who donate for the £40 reward. The top one is designed by Natasha, one our SwopItUp members, and the one to the left is designed by Coco - our resident design expert!