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26 Apr 2021

Our first ever blog post! Welcome!

We are Sanne, Monique, Lauren and Khaled. About three years we started our fantastic and exciting swap adventure Awearness Kollektif. Where do you start when you want to do something about the enormous overconsumption, waste, and pollution in the clothing industry? Well, a clothing swap. We dream of making clothing swapping huge and unleashing a clothing revolution. We still joyfully think back to our first swap events, when our cars were so full of clothes that we barely had space for ourselves or when we had our peaceful protest in the city centre of Rotterdam during the Fashion Revolution Week and Black Friday. It didn't’ matter how chaotic it was, one thing is for sure, we always had a blast. Most importantly, we noticed that a lot of other people were also having a great time. 

At The Swapshop we have one big vision: Swapping is the new shopping! Swapshop contributes to this by offering the alternative to fast fashion and the overconsumption and waste that comes with it. We believe that by doing this we will have a positive impact while still renewing our wardrobes. We want to bring about positive change and show the world how awesome and easy swapping is. Together we can bring a change to our wardrobe and the world! 

We don't have any shortages when it comes to ideas and plans. They are all bubbling in our heads and this makes us extra excited. This March some of those wonderful plans are already coming to reality!  Some examples are the recent expansion of our community through a new store in Amsterdam, the launching of our webshop (finally!) and the start of a social traineeship. Next to that, every single one of us has our own ideas. Monique dreams of  The Swapshop Academy, a place where we train people to become circular entrepreneurs. Khaled dreams of a store where everyone will get a smile on their face as soon as they enter. Laura dreams of a big webshop with worthwhile and diverse items. And last but not least, Sanne dreams of an iconic The Swapshop brand with a circular product line that’s completely made of recycled fibre. 

It was through blood, sweat and tears that we got to where we are today and the only thing that kept us driven was our strong belief in the concept of swapping. We are forever grateful to Raymond and Berend from Oase for the lovely collaboration with the concept Changez and for giving us the opportunity to run our pilot Swashop010  in the centre of Rotterdam in late 2019. We utilized the extra time in the first Corona lockdown to further develop our plans and by Summer 2020 it accelerated. This was when we opened two shops in Rotterdam! One is a permanent shop in the fashion hub De Wasserij in North and the other one is a temporary shop close-by the Koopgoot. Furthermore, we’ve also won the circular textile challenge of the Start-up Residence Program produced by the municipality of Amsterdam and have received support from the municipality of Rotterdam through the Citylab010 initiative. Next year we are going to be partnering up with the foundation DOEN!

We have a fantastic team of swap heroes, which are volunteers that help with our shops. Our clientele has expanded considerably with a lot of swappers that keep coming back. In the meantime, we've built up a network of partners to collaborate and to share knowledge and struggles with. The (local) media has noticed our success, this has brought a lot of great publicity for us!

Will we be seeing you in one of our stores or on our webshop? For the latest news, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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