Fall Fashion is on the way and your calendar is full of events like weddings, autumn cocktails and birthday parties to look forward to. Only one minor problem left – what are you going to wear?
Shopping new outfits for each season and event is neither an economically or environmentally sustainable choice. But what are the options? Industrial Designer Frida Åberg suggests a more sustainable solution of the problem; an Air Bn’B-like service that gives you access to all of your friends closets.
The app concept #rethinktextile, that is a part of her master thesis at Konstfack University, is a service that easily lets you borrow clothes from people in your social network. It also allows you to get an overview of your own closet in order to discover what you already have. Not surprisingly, Frida’s user interviews show that often the reason for shopping for new clothes is a wish for renewal rather than an actual need…
Frida: Clothes that you use for special occasions only, like party dresses, would be perfect for this kind of service. The same goes for ski outfits and such, that have very limited use. To let someone else use them when you’re not, would be much more resource effective!
So how does it work?
Frida: When uploading a garment the owner choses how long it is up for loan; one, two or four months. When a garment is lend, a digital ”handshake” is made through the app by both parts and the garment is marked as occupied. A week before the garment is due to be returned the users will get a reminder through the phone. The app also has a valuation system users can decide the value level of the garment in case it would be damaged. However, the system of course builds on trust between users. Frida continues: Textiles are a natural part of our everyday life. Clothes are part of our identity and tell a story about who we are or want to be. Nevertheless, a great deal of the global textile production has a negative impact on the environment. Despite alarming reports, the textile consumption in Sweden is still high and is expected to increase further. We need to re-evaluate the value of textiles and change our consumption behaviors in order to create a more sustainable society. I hope to raise the awareness of textiles as an important issue for environment.