One of our favourite examples is the newly launched reFASHIONer. Started by journalist, and high-fashion aficionado Kate Sekules, it is a curated swap site for designers’ fashion, ranging from Comme des Garçons to Dries Van Noten. Allowing people to swap what tend to be long-lasting pieces in the first place, reFASHIONer allows them to extend their clothes' lifecycle and renew their wardrobe in a sustainable way.
Despite its high fashion bent, the site is quite unpretentious and user-friendly and also taps into our interest in fashion and memory as it allows people to tell the story of their clothes right before they part with them.
Below is a brief interview with reFASHIONer founder Kate Sekules.
I was wondering how and why you started reFASHIONer? I was editor-in-chief of Culture+Travel magazine when they folded it... Saw the writing on the wall--death of the magazine business. And I thought, I do like turnover in my closet, and I love the designers I love. And I'm lacking a paycheck for said designers, not to mention an office to dress for every day. So I thought: swap meet. And when it was impossible to get my fancy-wardrobe friends in a room at the same time, I got to thinking... And realized there's no such thing as curated swapping online. How did I start? By making it up as I go! Starting a year ago, with a great deal of figuring out the system.
What was your background? Magazines, as above. Editor and writer in travel and food. I was travel editor then contributing editor of Food & Wine for nine years. I also wrote The Boxer's Heart—a memoir about my time as pro boxer, about the boxing world; aggression & gender, as well as twelve guide books, and a novel (out on submission now). Regarding fashion, it was a lifelong vocation. I grew up in Notting Hill going to Portobello two times a week every week; vintage is in the blood; I had my own stall in Camden Lock. Segued into designer love affairs....
There is obviously a relation with sustainable practices in fashion inherent to swapping clothes, as it increases their lifecycle? Was that important to you? Yes! Keeping the pieces moving revalues them. I think successful swapping actually encourages investment in the good stuff too; quality not quantity. It is important to support the art of fashion. This is elite recycling; green glamour--a fashion playground for design junkies!
I quite like how you can tell the story of the clothes/accessories you are partying with--why did you include that option? That is totally key. I get very attached to my mistakes and unwearables and one-wear wonders. I LOVE the stuff in the back of my closet, and want to give it a good send off (of course, I've barely done any of my stories yet. But I shall! Really!). To my joy I'm confirming my suspicions that I'm far from alone in this--stories abound: great, funny, poignant, silly, personal, sentimental... all that. It's a bonding connecting thread between us. The antidote to fashion snobbism. Warm and sisterly."