An Aberdeen mum has launched a national website following the success of her local swap shop to make kids’ clothes more sustainable.
Katie Wade opened up Wee One’s Wardrobe on Facebook last year to help parents update their children’s wardrobes in an environmentally friendly way.
The mum-of-two never expected it to “kick off” the way it did.
She now has 66 active members swapping and has saved thousands of clothes from going to waste.
She said: “This is mad, we’ve got 3,600 items available to swap, and there’s been 1,400 that have been swapped and are now with new families.
“I had a snowsuit that was my daughter’s and it had been swapped, came back and was swapped again, and is now back with me. It got swapped right at the beginning really and it was pretty quick.
“It’s still perfect. Three people have used it and it’s ready to swap again.”
After being contacted by potential swappers from as far away as Devon, she decided to launch a website so anyone in the UK could get involved.
The website launched last week and all existing members have been given profiles, which include their numbers of swaps left.
How does it work?
The members can now log on and browse the website to choose the items they want using their “swap balance”.
There is the option to have the clothes delivered or for the swapper to click and collect from Miss Wade’s home in Balmedie.
New swappers can sign up to the website and will be sent a reusable postage bag to donate their unwanted items.
She will then check them over thoroughly before emailing the customer to let them know what their “swap balance” is.
The customer can then log back on and chose whichever pre-loved items they want, which will be sent out in their bag, or available to pick up.
Every item of clothing gets washed by Miss Wade before she lists them on her page and there is a small charge per item, ranging from £1 to £6, to cover the costs.
Miss Wade wanted to make the process as simple as possible for busy parents.
She said: “Knowing myself, you don’t have a lot of time. When would I sit and do this? Probably at night when the kids are asleep is when I would go on and have a little search and shop.
“I wanted it to be straightforward and simple, they don’t have to message me, they don’t have to ask questions, but they can if they want.”
‘Pre-loved is definitely the way to go’
According to Miss Wade, seeing the website come alive was “just crazy”.
She described it as exactly what was needed and hopes it means more people can get involved in the initiative, providing people with more choice of items to swap.
The mum, who works part-time in beauty, said she often gets items that are brand new with tags donated.
As well as reducing clothing waste, Miss Wade believes that pre-loved clothes and swapping is a good way to save money for parents.
“Obviously, the cost of living has shot way up,” she explained. “It’s just a joke and I think even more now people are looking for ways to save money, so preloved is definitely the way to go with kids just now.
“I mean seven sizes in the first two years of life is just mad.”