16 Jul 2015

Sharing economy: swap your clothes

Everyone knows the problem: A closet full of clothes but you still have nothing to wear! All of your clothes are either outgrown, or you don’t like the way they look or fit anymore, or you just can’t really remember why you have bought this piece of clothing in the first place. Are your clothes far too good to throw away, but your budget is too low for new purchases? At this point the sharing idea may come into play, which is the reason why we focus this time on the idea of sharing clothes.

Almost everyone has exchanged clothes with friends before, a classic win-win situation where you either find amazing clothes that you would have never been able to find on your own and/or you get new clothes by swapping your old clothes that you don’t even like anymore – a classic case of a mutually benefiting transaction.

In mid June, a large clothes meet swap party took place that was organized by Greenpeace, in 40 cities, including Hamburg and Munich. Around 10,000 people participated and nearly 50.000 garments have changed hands and found their way into a new home.

Clothes meet swap parties come up often and almost everywhere in Germany and plenty other countries spread over the world. On several Facebook pages you can inform yourself about upcoming dates. However, it is also worthwhile simply googling clothes meet swap parties of your own city.

Clothes-swapping on the internet

A different approach is used by sharing-platforms. In a virtual market everybody can offer their clothes – for exchange, for sale or as a gift. Here, you can see that there are not only pure sharing platforms, but exclusively platforms for garments.

Why should you own something, when you also have the opportunity to borrow the great pieces? That was also the thought of the founders of the homepage frents.com,on which they allow the borrowing of a range of things.

You will find everything: from clothes, to vehicles, to games or books. By using the search function or the Fashion & Accessories category you will find the available clothes. Then you request the clothes and borrow them for a fee or also for free.


What about a designer piece? (Picture: Rainbow Wardrobe by Torsten Schulz, CC BY-SA 2.0, fitted)

The basic idea of the “neverending wardrobe“ of the Kleiderei from Hamburg, is the comparison between own vs. borrow. In this case you won’t become the owner of a piece, you only borrow it for a month.

Through a membership, which you can be quit after a three-months period, you get sent four garments monthly, which you can either choose on your own or let curate.

After a month passed, you simply send the clothes back. The portfolio of the Kleiderei contains secondhand ware as well as designer pieces from emerging and already known designers. That gives you the opportunity of wearing great fashion without flooding your wardrobe.

What experience have you gained with sharing garments? Do you know of any other concepts for sharing clothes? Do you have any questions? Then leave us a comment. We look forward to reading your input.