Looking to update your wardrobe without spending more money and generating more waste?

Swapaholic founders Raye Padit (below, left) and Priyanka Sachdev Shahra are keen to show the way.

A social enterprise founded in 2016, Swapaholic aims to promote sustainable fashion. It organises pop-up events throughout the year to encourage members to swap their clothes instead of buying new ones.

Its latest event was held at Marina Barrage last weekend as part of EarthFest 2018 – a carnival that gathers many eco-champions and their planet-friendly brands at one place.

“Overconsumption is one of the main issues in the fashion industry,” Mr Padit told The UrbanWire.

In Singapore alone, 150,700 tonnes of textile waste was generated in 2016, according to the National Environmental Agency. Only 7% of the waste was recycled.

Preparations usually begin about a month before the Swapaholic event.

Notifications are first sent via social media pages to encourage members to contribute unwanted clothes. His team will then perform quality checks and select up to 20 pieces of apparel from each member.

Details of the selected pieces such as their brands and styles are keyed into a database. Using an algorithm, his team will assign “swapling points” to the contributing members. The points can then be used to swap for items at the pop-up events.

“By swapping, I’m doing my part to cut waste and save my wallet,” said Ms Amelyn Soh, 24, a regular “Swapaholic” who’s attended every Swapaholic event since September 2016.

“When I’m working, I don’t actually have the time to go out and look for brand new clothes… There are so many places out there. So I like coming to this [Swapaholic] event to narrow down my options,” said Ms Soh.

Swapaholic has been able to grow its following. At Earthfest 2017, its event attracted around 80 people. This year, the number of participants doubled. The event is often popular with students and female adults between 26 and 34 years old.

“I think swapping makes more sense because for example, you want to get rid of your clothes, you can easily just give them to some one else who would really want it,” said Tammy Chandra, 17, who was introduced to Swapaholic by her mother. She dropped off a number of shoes and dresses at the event.

All “un-swapped” clothes at the end of each event are recycled in two ways.

Mr Padit said: “We carry most of the left over items to the next event. Or if the item is not really presentable already, we donate them to our partners who will ship them to developing countries.”


Do you prefer to shop or swap?

  • SWAP (82%, 9 Votes)
  • SHOP (18%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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