Tackling 'Fast Fashion'

Start-up an Ethical Clothing Exchange with a difference

Students on Edventure: Frome’s Start-Up course were challenged to set up a regular clothing exchange event with a difference. The aim was for these events to be a practical, ethical, fun and affordable way for the people of Frome to break dependence on chain retailers selling poor quality clothing that all too often ends up in bins.

  • The fashion industry causes 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It produces more emissions than all international air travel and shipping combined.
  • Three out of every five items bought are thrown away within a year.

Ethical fashion experts Liz Parker and Lizzie Harrison of By The Fire (a platform to support the best possible fashion sustainability learning and education) co-facilitated the course, and students drew inspiration from existing clothing exchanges, clothing rentals and libraries to pioneer a new model of clothing exchange here in Frome.

Through this challenge, students got the opportunity to go through the stages of setting up a community enterprise – from market research to business planning, from generating ideas to project planning, branding and launching the idea. All whilst learning to work in a team and step into leadership. (As well as the  opportunity to gain a level 3 Qualification in Leadership and Management).

This student team created The Frome Wardrobe Collective. Tonnes of clothes were swapped at their launch event – with 105 childrens items alone going to new homes. At their second event, they gained over 100 new  members even though it was pouring with rain. They have gone one to  be featured by BBC Countryfile (featured frome around 17mins 30 secs), Frome FM and @dirtyncheapmag. Several of the student team went on to find meaningful work off the back of this course. At the time of writing, the third Frome Wardrobe Collective event is coming up in 19 days – and we look forward to coming out with a brand “new” wardrobe for the price of a cop of coffee!