By swapping our clothes we extend their lifespan. A piece of clothing that no longer suits you could be someone else's next favorite item! But how long do we actually last with our clothes and what happens to them before and after swapping? To gain more insight into this, we did the Reflow pilot together with the municipality of Amsterdam and Waag.

The pilot was part of the European Reflow project beginning of 2022, in which 6 European cities tried to better understand and transform urban material flows and devise and test solutions. Amsterdam focused on textiles. What did the pilot entail? We used labels with QR code in garments to visualize the journey of these items before and after swapping. We did this by creating a digital storyline together with swappers. This way we can become even more aware of our behavior!

Hand in items

Take an active part in the pilot.

Swappers could actively participate in the pilot. In The Swapshop Amsterdam we provided a package with labels with QR codes. These could be sewed into the items before bringing them to The Swapshop. By scanning the QR code on the label swappers could enter the characteristics of the item for each item. After handing in items in The Swapshop, swappers could follow the future journey through an item's digital storyline!

Swapping items

Go to the digital storyline.

Since it was a pilot, not all items in our shop were labeled. Did a swapper swap a new garment with a label in it? Then it was possible to scan the QR code on the label, to go to the digital storyline of the swapped item. By starting the chat with our swapbot in the Telegram app, the digital storyline could be completed. It was therefore necessary to have the Telegram app.

Share your experiences and adventures with your latest item.

Through the chat in Telegram we got to ask some questions about the latest item of swappers. For example, about what item it was, how often it was worn or a special moment when the item was worn. Swappers could also share a cool photo of the item via the chat. If we didn't hear from a swapper for a while, they automatically received a message.

The digital storyline of your latest item comes to life.

We never asked for a name or private information. We did ask in the chat if we could share experiences and adventures on the digital storyline. This is how it really came to life. Did a swapper pass on their item of clothing to a friend or did they bring it back to The Swapshop? Then the item's journey continued there! We are now developing an improved version of this pilot, to bring it back to life in 2023.