Let me introduce you to Swoperz, if you aren’t already familiar with this innovative app that allows children to swap their clothes.
As with all the best brands it has a very simple proposition that is born from observing a need. But as with exceptional brands it also ticks many wider boxes, that make Swoperz totally relevant to the current consumer shift to more ethical and sustainable shopping.
By chance, I met Charlene Hurlock, one of the founders, on LinkedIn. Her enthusiasm and commitment was immediate and quite infectious. She had stumbled upon something that most parents have experienced but saw the opportunity to develop it into a service that many other children and parents would enjoy and benefit from.
She had observed how teenage girls enjoy comparing their clothes and swapping them. In essence they form a community around their friendship group that allows them to continuously change their looks, without the requirement of very large parent pockets.
But beyond that they enjoyed the shopping experience. And possibly the biggest win, is that children of this age are not conditioned in any negative way to the wearing of second-hand clothes. In fact, as a rule, they generally understand the problems of over consumption, the pollution that factories create, and the importance of people everywhere being given a fair wage for working, better than their parent’s generations.
“Run by kids and managed by grown-ups”, is an essential part of the pre-loved marketplace’s proposition. The last thing teenagers want is to have their fashion choices ‘totally’ controlled by their parents, whilst the last thing parents want is for their children to go wild with a bottomless wallet.
So many of the elements of Swoperz are obvious and totally logical. The thing is that hear is a brand that is taking common sense and making it available to a wider market. Taking the local network to the level of a regional and national community.
The potential is huge. Whilst the beginnings of the brand are based around everyday fashions, the opportunity to evolve into school uniforms is also significant. Again, what parent hasn’t regularly frequented the second-hand school shop, or had to subject their unfortunate offspring to several years in an oversized blazer to achieve some financial longevity.
And so very pleased to hear that Swoperz has acquired funding to develop its app and technology platform to take the brand to the next level. And as with any app, and particularly anything that involves teenage children, a sizeable part of the budget will go to ensuring that the platform is secure and safe for both parents and children.
Trust is everything in a community, and Swaperz has partnered with TrustElevate, for secure, accurate child age and parental consent verification.
Swoperz are yet another example of how building community is so important in the sustainable retail sector. Bringing together like-minded people behind sensible, responsible ways to rent, re-sell, swap, lend and borrow to satisfy our clothing needs, and our wishes to create a better world.
Ideas from the community taken to another level. Just consider my friends at Loanhood, the adult fashion swapping app, that is now in partnership with Selfridges, opening pop-up shops in their department stores.
For our own sakes, and for our children’s sakes, we should be thankful that entrepreneurial businesses like Swoperz are finally receiving funding, and the recognition that they deserve.
We should also be thankful that we are nurturing new generations who naturally understand the sense, and the responsibility that we all have to the world we live in. But where sensible can also mean exciting, surprising, stimulating, and social.
In the meantime…
Intelligent ‘Retail Intelligence’ is featured in the new book – ‘Meaning in the Retail Madness – How to be an Essential Retailer’
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Enjoy your read.