Fancy a sustainable fashion fix? The ‘swopping’ phenomenon is taking Brisbane by storm and West End store, SWOP Clothing Exchange, is leading the charge on the recycling revolution.
Brigid Gordon and Bethany Wicks opened the store in 2013, because they wanted to create a new way to shop that flies in the face of fast fashion.
“SWOP feels we all have a social responsibility to change the current fashion trade. Where and how the clothes themselves are being made is a big issue; from poor working conditions, meagre pay, child labour, to unsafe work environments. Just so you can buy a t-shirt for $4? There should be more awareness about what the consequences of fast fashion are. We aim to create this awareness by offering an option to shop and consume at a more sustainable level,” Beth says.
The store was the first of its kind in Brisbane to employ the ‘Buy, Sell, Trade’ model, and the concept has proven quite popular, with ninety-five per cent of the store’s stock sourced directly from ‘SWOPpers’. Described as a ‘treasure hunt heaven’ by the fashion mavens, you can expect to find a mix of vintage, modern apparel and accessories.
“You can easily find that one off 70s dress with bell arms, or maybe stumble across a Dion
Lee top, or a Zimmerman dress for a very humble price,” Beth says.
With World Environment Day around the corner, they’re encouraging shoppers to cull their wardrobes and trade in their threads for some new material, literally!
“We purchase wearable vintage and modern apparel and accessories, barely worn and in excellent condition. We buy in accordance with the seasons, current trends and inventory levels. Bring in a bag of goods for our buyers to look through, we’ll pick out the pieces to re-sell and offer you an option of cash at 25% of the re-sale price, or 50% in store SWOP credit. SWOP day is Friday 10am-5pm.”
Click through the gallery above for some on-trend 70s ensembles you could ‘SWOP’ for at their retail space in the Boundary Street Markets precinct in West End from 10am, Tuesday to Sunday.