In their pursuit to de-clutter and continually refresh their closets while saving the planet, Singaporeans have embraced clothes swapping to clamp down on fashion waste.
According to a climate change study conducted by the United Nations, the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world and contributes to nearly 10% of global carbon emissions.
With around 52 micro-seasons in fast fashion, overproduction and consumption have led to 92 million tons of waste a year.
South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that Singapore alone produces 168,000 tons of textile waste.
Singapore local Sue-Anne Chng told SCMP that she usually wears a new outfit on each of the 15 days of the Lunar New Year. However, this year she opted to wear second-hand clothes and got her new fashion items through a clothes-swapping store.
“I’ve been brought up by my parents to have a new set of clothes every Chinese New Year, and I fell into that behaviour of consumerism and I always ensured I have more than enough,” said Chng.
“I would always make sure I had 15 days of outfits even if I’m not visiting (relatives).
“Now, as long as the item is new to me, I think it’s good enough,” she said.
Chng now shops mainly from the swap stores and admits that 80% of her wardrobe is from the second-hand shops.
“Swapping allows me to be like a chameleon when it comes to fashion, but allows me to be environmentally conscious as well,” said Chng.
To be part of the clothes-swapping movement, customers can sign up for a fee and activate various packages which range from one-time swaps to monthly or annual memberships.
The longer-term packages allow you to walk into a store at any time and swap your old clothes for something new.