Circular fashion: How to close the loop in kids clothing industry

When we started SwapUp, people often asked us why. Why second hand clothes? Why include kids? And why bother?

And our answer was: because it makes sense

Kids grow, but their clothes don’t. Yet somehow people still need to pay such a high price, both financially and environmentally, to dress their kids. A 2012 study on “The cost of raising children in Australia” by AMP and the University of Canberra found that Australian parents spend a whopping $33,000 to $61,000 to buy clothes for two kids until they’ve finished their education. An average Australian also uses double the amount of garments compared to other developed countries, disposing 27 kg of fashion waste per capita per year. We wouldn’t be surprised if kids' fashion makes up a significant part of it. Kids grow so fast (babies grow up to 7 sizes in their first two years!) so oftentimes some clothes do not get worn at all.

Surely there’s a better way to do this. 

An older kids’ trash is a younger kids’ treasure, and we believe that facilitating this handover would greatly reduce fashion waste.

This is where we come in. Our consignment store invites parents to send in their kids’ outgrown clothes. After parents sign up, we send the SwapUp Bag, which includes compostable bag and a prepaid postage label. All parents need to do is order a SwapUp Kit, fill the bag with outgrown, gently used clothes, and drop it off. It’s a convenient way to declutter for busy parents, while also contributing to the circular economy movement!

In return, parents will receive cash or credit to buy clothes that actually fit their kids from our online thrift store | op shop. The program encourages parents to shop for higher quality items as they have higher value once their kids are done wearing them. You'll receive bonus value if you choose to shop with your earnings to encourage parents not only to pass on their kids' clothes to others, but also to welcome other second hand kids clothes into their home. We believe that increased uptake in thrift shopping should come hand-in-hand with reduced consumption of new clothing. 

SwapUp’s mission is to make shopping second hand mainstream so we can close the loop in the kids fashion industry. We dream of a day when fashion manufacturers produce less clothing albeit with higher quality, so the clothes can be reused for a longer time by more people. Where people take care of their clothes because they know others can wear them. Where kids' growth is well accommodated for by the fashion industry.

Join us in this movement 

Al and Adi