The temptation of swapping clothes
It's almost time for the 8th edition of the Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week! This year it will take place from September 23 to 29 with sustainable initiatives throughout the Netherlands. The Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week was founded by Cécile Scheele. This week is mainly aimed at introducing people to sustainable initiatives, providing information about sustainable fashion and making it more visible in the Dutch retail landscape. Many initiatives and (public) organisations are working together this week by organising sustainable shopping routes, workshops, talks, exhibitions, documentary screenings, clothing swap events and in-store events.
The thought behind this week is that we as consumers can do a lot to force change in the fashion industry. The fashion industry is very complex and sustainability is not going as fast as we would like. As long as the business model of companies is still focused on selling as much clothing as possible, there will be too much clothing in this world. We believe that consumer behaviour changes when you offer a full-fledged and easy alternative. An alternative that is just as tempting. An alternative that is truly sustainable. But how do you seduce people? Convenience, low prices, a hip and fresh interior, a great offer, a good atmosphere. We believe this is all important for sustainable consumption.
But the idea of "buying, buying, buying" remains a tricky one. Why do we humans love to buy new clothes so much? We love novelty, innovation and progress. We want to be seen as we feel. Fashion and clothing is the ultimate means of communication for this. Fashion and buying clothes is about who you are. It's about your identity. By buying clothes you can affirm to yourself and others who you are. From the well-known pyramid of Maslow we know that social acceptance, self-fulfilment and appreciation and recognition are among the basic needs of us humans. It makes sense that clothing is so important to us! We can be part of something, be seen and discover and express ourselves.
Even if you think now: 'It's not that important to me' or 'I don't need clothes for that', it still says something about you. Fashion and buying clothes is often still focused on the individual. We believe that we can also use fashion to evoke a collective feeling. The feeling that we can create a better world together, by swapping clothes, sharing and making others happy. We humans also need a sense of purpose. It makes us happy to mean something to the world or others. With The Swapshop we strive for an ideal, and this makes us happy! Not to mention the ups and downs of starting a start-up ;-) With a permanent clothing swap shop we make a positive impact together with you.
We also want to give more attention to this need for a sense of purpose with The Swapshop. It's not just about the clothes we buy (or swap) and wear, but also the way we do this. It says something about how we want to shape our world together. Swapping clothes feels good. You tidy up your closet, you make others happy and you renew your wardrobe in a sustainable way. And if you're lucky, you'll spot another swapper in our shop that just hands in items in your style. Swapping clothes is a do-good and feel-good experience and gives a sense of purpose. We hope that this will also tempt people to consume sustainably. Why is swapping the new shopping for you? Let us know in a comment!