At Secondsguru, we are always looking to celebrate people who have chosen to make “caring for the planet” their “business”! This week we spoke with Priyanka Shahra and asked her to share her personal sustainability journey with us. For her, it started off with an aha moment that eventually led to her becoming a social entrepreneur devoted to creating convenient and scalable solutions that promote urban sustainability. Priyanka is the Founder of One With Earth – a platform that designs solutions for urban set ups with sustainability in mind – and Swapaholic – the clothes and accessory swap platform that seeks to “make fashion circular” and create a real “sustainable fashion” experience. With ‘Clothes Swap’ being the theme of Fashion Revolution Week 2020, this conversation seems just timely!
In 2014, I learnt that fashion was one of the five most polluting industries in the world- the others being electricity and heat, agriculture, transportation, oil and gas. I instantly felt a stab of embarrassment, remorse and accountability- I had been a self-proclaimed shopaholic for the better part of my life. This revelation snowballed into much research, meaningful conversations and subsequently a master’s thesis on secondhand mindsets in Asia. I soon discovered the concept of swapping and was both intrigued and filled with ideas of how to convert the ancient idea of a barter, into a viable social enterprise with the ability to impact the lives of many. Thus, Swapaholic was born.
Swapaholic: The story so far
Since the time we launched Swapaholic in 2017, it has become synonymous with physical/offline fashion (clothing and accessory) swap events for all genders and we have run 19 events in Singapore during this time period.
What is a physical/offline SWAP event? It is an event where people pre-register online, select a pick up slot (Swapaholic offers free pick up) for the items they wish to swap (only items in mint condition), sort out and hand in their pre-loved clothes and accessories and hand over on the pick up date for quality check. Next they check their online account for allocated swap points and finally, turn up at the designated location on the event day to swap, swap, swap using the swap points which serves as the currency for the swap (no cash/cards accepted).
We always had a final game plan. For us, the physical/offline swap model was always a prototype to the eventual online swap platform in Singapore. Our events, or swap parties were designed to be a minimum viable product from which we could learn by failing frequently and iterating quickly! Our physical swap parties give us genuine insight into what systems are efficacious but most importantly what our Swapaholics find valuable.
What next? Our vision 20/20 in 2020 is to scale up our impact by making swapping fashion more accessible than ever. This year we will:
1. Launch an option to swap online in April 2020. We enable this, through an ongoing online subscription plan that can be conveniently integrated into one’s lifestyle. [stay tuned! The site is on beta and we’ll update you as soon as it goes live]
2. Conduct a periodic Online Swap Party, like our upcoming Wake Up and Swap Party on April 4, 2020, an ode to Fashion Revolution. (Registrations open only till 15 March 2020, so hurry up!)
3. Continue to run our signature physical swap parties through the year and have another surprise or two up our sleeves 🙂
Happening on April 4th 2020, the first online swap party ever (in partnership with 313@somerset) is designed to empower consumers to swap from the comfort of their own homes. In line with a firm resolve to scale our impact, 2020 is all about empowering consumers to wake up from the slumber of inaction and swap their mindsets to practice more conscious consumption habits.
On April 4th from 10am – 8pm, registered swappers can log in from anywhere to browse through a catalogue of well photographed items and swap according to curated collections, sizes as well as categories!
Want to join the online swap party? Drop everything and register here by Mar 15. If you’re interested, follow these guidelines and choose items you would like to swap (max 10 items, clothes and accessories). To know more about the online swap party rules, click here.
Who can join? The swap is open to all genders who are over 18 years of age.
Registration fee| SG$40 FLAT FEE (Up to 10 items only) [Early Bird discount: The first 300 can join for SG$20]
Key dates for the online swap party
29 FEBRUARY 2020 – 15 MARCH 2020| Registration & clothes collection from registered swappers
4 APRIL 2020 (10AM – 8PM)|Online swap party
24 & 25 APRIL 2020| Try-on appointment at 313@somerset, Level 1 Atrium
New to swapping with Swapaholic? Here my picks of ‘5 types of outfits’ to watch out for in our online swap closet!
Whenever I’m swapping, I pre-plan my strategy by thinking about the fashion-mood I’m in! So if I had the opportunity to swap along with you, these are 5 types of outfits from the Swapaholic Closet that I’d be watching out for. Do note that these looks are my personal favourite picks, but rest assured you’ll be sure to find lots of outfits that suit your unique personality.
“So, why should you swap your stuff for this?”
- The Swap Squad quality checks each and every item to ensure it’s in perfect condition and ready to be re-loved.
- You’re spoilt for choice – there are thousands of unique swappables to browse through.
- Every piece is unique ensuring that your chosen treasure is special and one of a kind – just like you!
- You can save our planet AND indulge your inner fashionista at the same time.
- It’s super convenient, and at your fingertips – literally.