Dear mistake purchases, life isn’t easy for you. Your new owners will only hold you in their hands for a brief moment, then your destiny is to end up somewhere in the back corner of the closet. If a light appears at the end of the wardrobe tunnel, and you find yourself in those hands once more, the joy is usually short-lived. But don’t worry, you are not alone. On average, people reach for an item of clothing only seven times before it is disposed of, often in the garbage.

GLOBAL FASHION EXCHANGE –
HOW CLOTHES SWAPPING CAN CHANGE THE WORLD

Category: Taste     Text: Sandra Gawlowski
Dear mistake purchases, life isn’t easy for you. Your new owners will only hold you in their hands for a brief moment, then your destiny is to end up somewhere in the back corner of the closet. If a light appears at the end of the wardrobe tunnel, and you find yourself in those hands once more, the joy is usually short-lived. But don’t worry, you are not alone. On average, people reach for an item of clothing only seven times before it is disposed of, often in the garbage.
The Global Fashion Exchange, or GFX for short, was founded in 2013 to reduce this veritable pile of 2.5 billion pounds of clothing per year. Their target is to make clothing live longer by passing it on to new owners. GFX promotes and demands sustainable consumption habits such as reusing and recycling fashion. Inspiring forums, educational content and cultural events, such as clothing swaps, have already started emerging around the world. Over the past five years, more than 22 tons of textiles have been salvaged, something that makes initiatives like this very appealing. It also causes other advocates of the slow fashion movement to go into the offensive and therefore help get the ball rolling.

Swapping storm: This year’s GFX event in Lisbon was a complete success. (Photo: Carlos Teixeira)

“People may not change their lifestyle, but the information and the message are received, and most do want to get involved. They become activists in their own way, sharing their experience through social media and proudly showing off their swapped articles. That’s a positive development.”

Patrick Duffy
Founder of GFX

But how does a clothing swap actually work? In the beginning, interested people have to go through an application process. After answering various questions, it quickly becomes clear whether the candidate is qualified and if they could act as a GFX ambassador in the future. If this is the case, they can download a specially developed toolkit and initiate a clothing swap in their city. This is where GFX’s work comes in. The quality of the clothing has to be verified as well as the cultural and socio-economic conditions of each particular market. In the end, it’s agreed that in other countries there are different customs and so specific characteristics of the particular country must always be taken into account.
Since sustainability affects everyone, regardless of ethnicity, age group or salary level, all major clothing exchange campaigns are free of charge, for the event’s visitors as well as for the brands. It would be particularly beneficial for companies if well-known celebrities and faces were to show their support of GFX, give positive feedback and generate attention. It could act as a kind of knightly lance breaking in times of fast moving social media madness, frighteningly high Primark popularity and a continually growing tendency towards a disposable society.
  • GFX schafft mit Fakten Interesse, das wie ein Köder in die Menge geworfen wird und den Schwarm anlockt.

More information about GFX at www.globalfashionxchange.org (Photo: Carlos Teixeira)

“What brands are doing right now is burdening the planet. They have to focus on innovation and take a critical look at what they’re doing. They need to focus on better quality, but also focus on circularity and creating products that are 100% recyclable.”

Patrick Duffy

GFX has managed to create genuine interest with facts, and once the bait has been bitten, the transformation starts on its own, like peeling a veil from before one’s eyes. Putting it less metaphorically, people understand the problem with the fashion industry and how it is one of the most polluting industries in the world. They recognise the need to meet sustainability targets and seek to act accordingly in the future. But fashion companies should stop focusing on over-consumption and quantity, but instead, start promoting an emphasis on quality.
  • Strike the pose: Teilnehmer des GFX ließen sich in ihren Second Hand Outfits vor Ort ablichten.

STRIKE A POSE: GFX participants showing off their new second hand outfits at the event. (Photo: Carlos Teixeira)

“Brands must also engage in their own educational work.
They have to take responsibility together with the consumer; slow down production to stop fashion from choking the industry out. Innovative materials are the key, for example, those made of marine plastics. Fortunately, sustainability is a trend that will hopefully continue to grow.”

Patrick Duffy

There is really nothing more to add to this, except perhaps that a further positive trend of the Global Fashion Exchange will soon favour the significant change to a natural clothing circle. That will be the moment when GFX outgrows its childhood shoes, and everyone’s wardrobe can do its part for a more sustainable world.

recommended articles

PRETTY TIGHT – THE FIRST PANTYHOSE FROM THE OCEAN

By |May 17th, 2019|Categories: FASHION, Sandra Gawlowski|Tags: , , , |

To combat this feeling, Kunert and GREEN WINDOW developed the BLUE 90 line in a squarecollab. It's the first ...

Comments Off on PRETTY TIGHT – THE FIRST PANTYHOSE FROM THE OCEAN
READ MORE →

recommended articles
READ MORE →
By |2019-05-28T13:47:05+00:00April 30th, 2019|FASHION, Sandra Gawlowski|Comments Off on GLOBAL FASHION EXCHANGE – HOW CLOTHES SWAPPING CAN CHANGE THE WORLD