A Kiwi mum fed up with fast fashion has launched her own sustainable clothes swap platform online.
Alice Wills-Johnson was inspired to create Swapology for people wanting to reduce the impact their shopping was having on the environment - and their wallets.
Wills-Johnson says she came up with the idea when she was on maternity leave and an online shopping habit meant she had a huge wardrobe but felt she had "nothing to wear".
"I didn't feel like going out shopping with two young kids, but I needed to refresh my wardrobe - my body is no longer the same as it was," she said.
But Wills-Johnson says the "guilt" over the number of clothes in her wardrobe and their impact on the environment led her to start a clothing swap online.
"I stopped buying new clothes last year, increasingly worried by the impact of cheap fashion - not only on our planet but also my wallet, time, the next generation and beyond."
And it got her thinking about how the pandemic would change even the simple things in life like how we shop for clothes.
"Most people do clothing swap parties in person, but the March lockdown made that impossible," she said.
So Wills-Johnson decided to create an online platform where members can swap items from their own wardrobes for clothing on the site.
It runs on a points system, she explains - the more clothing items you send in, the more points you'll have to shop with, and you can save up your points to spend when the perfect new item lands in the online wardrobe.
You can sign up for an annual, quarterly or monthly membership. Becoming a member means you can swap your clothes with other people across the country.
Swapology already over 300 pieces available for swapping.
"We accept all brands, sizes and styles, as long as the clothing is in quality condition. We want to ensure there's something for everyone," Wills-Johnson said.
Now she works from her home in Feilding, having done all the marketing and communications for her new venture herself, with her husband chipping in where needed. She brought a web development company on board to help create a website.
However, Wills-Johnson says the goal isn't necessarily to make a profit.
"The currency is points rather than dollars so it's not your usual Shopify store - each item is unique. The goal is to keep it circular ... I'm not in it to make money.
"If you have an event to go to like a wedding or the races and don't have anything to wear, you can use your points to get something off the site and then swap it back, provided it's still in good condition."
After launching yesterday some "Swapologists" have already signed up, and Wills-Johnson says word of mouth through friends and family is bringing more members on board.
Clothes that don't get picked up will be donated to Manawatū women's charity Camellia House.
"People are definitely becoming more conscious of where they spend their dollar and how far it can go and want to make a difference to the environment," Wills-Johnson said.
"Clothes are cheaper than ever, but there are more environmentally conscious ways to be stylish without a shopping splurge. Changing how we shop is one way we can do that."
We all know the fashion industry has a lot to answer for when it comes to sustainability - it's considered to be the second most polluting industry in the world.
The industry uses 93 billion cubic metres of water a year. It takes 2700 litres to make a single cotton shirt - that's enough water for one person to drink for two and a half years.
A recent New Zealand study showed that the number of textiles sent to the Wellington Southern Landfill has doubled from 2009 to 2019 - and around a quarter of those were clothes in good condition that could have been reused or recycled.