Following the success of our clothes swap event highlighting the environmental impact fast fashion has we sat down with the ‘new to you’ fashion guru behind it. Between a busy career in the energy industry, a growing Instagram account (@swishsb) and two toddlers at home, Amanda Fullerton has still found the time to help people fight fast fashion while looking fabulous.
We wanted to know what drives her passion for sustainable style and what advice she has for people in Chapelton and beyond.
How did you get into clothes swaps?
I had two maternity leaves pretty much back-to-back. Maternity pay meant curbing my shopping habit and l learned to ‘wear my wardrobe’. I realised I had a LOT of clothes I had forgotten about, some of which no longer fitted as my body shape had changed post-babies.
I had heard about clothes swapping and decided to organise my own to freshen up my own wardrobe, I never dreamt people would love it as much as they do!
What is the best thing that you’ve ever found at a swap?
I am always super impressed at the amazing pieces that are brought along to each swap, but the best thing is often the stories behind the clothes, I LOVE hearing the history of a piece of clothing.
Clothes can have such important memories attached to them, be it a dress you wore to your graduation, a top you can’t wear again because that colleague you can’t abide has it too or an ‘out out’ dress that, if it could talk, you would tell it to ‘shhhhhhhhhhhhhh’
Why should someone choose a clothes swap or ‘new to you’ fashion over the high street or online retailers?
It is estimated that £30billion of unused clothing hangs in UK, which equates to an average of £447 in each of our wardrobes. Traditionally we’ve kept adding to this but unfortunately at the fast fashion end of the market clothes are often not made to last and workers’ pay and conditions leave a lot to be desired.
At my clothes swap I don’t allow any clothes from fast fashion brands so you know what you’re getting will last and only cost you the price of your ticket. Fashion is a bigger contributor to climate change than international flights and maritime shipping combined. So swapping rather than buying new, reduces the impact on your bank balance, workers and the environment.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to cut back on fast fashion what would it be?
Take some time to understand the impact fast fashion has on the environment, garment workers’ rights, and your pocket before you buy that next £3 t-shirt. Instagram has LOADS of profiles dedicated to the topic.
What would you say to someone who has never been to a clothes swap?
You DO have clothes other people would like and you WILL find something you like. Everyone always goes home smiling with some pre-loved beauties and that feeling of doing something good.
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