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Image / Style / Sustainable Style

Clothes-swapping app Nuw provides the perfect sustainable fashion platform


by Erin Lindsay
25th Jan 2021
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Nuw officially launched its app in January, and is now expanding across Ireland and the UK


As we hit our strides in Second Hand September, we’re on the hunt for vintage and preloved gems to buy and keep for ourselves. But while secondhand shopping is infinitely better for the planet than buying fast fashion, it still doesn’t address the problem of overcrowding our wardrobes. If you are still buying heaps of clothing, just secondhand garments, chances are you’ll eventually be forced to clear out your wardrobe and add to the rising levels of waste clothing across the country.

Cutting down on our clothing consumption and finding better ways to combat the fast fashion problem is key, and clothes swapping is a fantastic solution. Think of all the outfits and pieces you’ve worn maybe three or four times and then discarded for something shiny and new. If we could get these garments together, and create a community wardrobe full of pieces to share and swap around, we’d be making a huge impact on the fast fashion cycle.

Sustainable fashion app Nuw has been working on this idea since 2017, when it was just a trial run swapping outfits for the Trinity Ball. Since then, Nuw has seen over 1000 swaps, and in January of this year, launched its app, allowing 4000 users to swap pieces from the likes of Rixo, Rejina Pyo and Reformation, alongside fabulous high street garments too.

It all began with co-founder and CEO Aisling Byrne taking a trip to India in 2013, where she witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of fast fashion on the communities and environment there. Determined to make a change, she stepped away from fast fashion and invested her energy in creating an alternative, to share the clothing we all already own too much of.

Nuw is particularly popular with the 16-24 age bracket, who are driving the change in attitudes towards fashion and shopping second-hand. Other preloved clothing platforms like Depop, Vestiaire Collective and eBay are flooded with Gen Z users building their wardrobes from secondhand and vintage pieces.

Nuw was previously only available in London, Dublin and Cambridge, but with their recent expansion allows users from across Ireland and the UK to borrow and swap as much as they like within their area for a small subscription fee.

Nuw has experienced amazing growth this year, and is now seeking a £115k investment on equity crowdfunding platform, Seedrs to fund their project. They’ve received 67% of the total fund already, from sources like Bethnal Green Ventures and the London Fashion Fund.

Speaking about the expansion of Nuw, Byrne said: “The expansion of our offering across the UK and Ireland is a huge milestone in our quest to become a global sustainable fashion platform. As we see more and more people wanting to get involved with Nuw each year, we’re proud to be part of the new future of fashion – one that looks out for bargains while helping the planet. Nuw’s success is driven by our brilliant community who share their wardrobes – so now we’d like to welcome new and existing customers to join us on our crowdfunding campaign as we build for a more sustainable future.”

Featured image: Nuw


Read more: Get creative and forge your own style: Lou Slevin’s tips on finding vintage gems during Second Hand September

Read more: Meet the O’ Riordans, two of Ireland’s most exciting fashion design talents

Read more: 8 vintage wedding gowns inspired by Lily Allen’s Vegas dream dress

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