Interview to The Nuwardrobe

The COVID19 has been a difficult time, and fashion industry, as the others, has been affected. Which are the difficulties you faced during this pandemic?

We have been closed for a couple of months, but now we are back online. We shared with our community some guidelines to help them manage the COVID situation.

Since our service relies on peer to peer sharing, we created a partnership with the postal service, and our members were able to use drop off access points to continue sharing without getting in contact one with each other.

Can you describe Nuw, how does it work and when you started it? Where are you based?

Nuw is a fashion sharing service, in which our members can get access to an incredible and giant wardrobe.
The Nuw members can exchange fashion items with each other, both by lending and by borrowing. 
With such behavior, it is possible to save many resources, because each item can be worn and enjoyed by different people.
For example, if you have a dress or a T-shirt that is still on fashion but you haven’t been wearing for a while, you can upload it on Nuw. At the same time, if you need something cool for your night out, you can just borrow it, rather than buying. Almost what you would do with a friend, but with a much bigger wardrobe!

The Nuw team is based across Dublin and London, but we will be launching our fashion sharing service across the whole of the UK and Ireland over the next couple of weeks.

Ph: one of the items lended on Nuw platform, available to be borrowed!
Source: Nuw Instagram profile, https://www.instagram.com/wearenuw/.

How did you come up with this idea?

We knew that fashion industry is the second most polluting in the world and has a devastating social and environmental impact. We wanted to change our habits and have a positive impact in reducing this problem.

Actually, borrowing and lending with friends is something that the majority of people is used to. We ourselves used to borrow from friends dresses for parties! 
We just created a social network for these kind of people, allowing them to share clothes with their local community, extend the life cycle of their wardrobes and reduce their impact on the planet.

Which type of garments can be shared on Nuw? Do you reject any?

All the garments undergo to a selection from Nuw, before being accepted on our platform, so basically anyone can upload their entire wardrobe!
The general rule is, lend something nice, in good conditions and that you would wear.
We do not accept too simple or plain clothes, but just because these are the less likely to be borrowed.
We always advise our members to share good quality items.
We do not refuse fast fashion items, because also borrowing these type of garments helps reducing their impact. We just suggest not to share things that will fall apart after few usages.  

We also give them tips on the pictures, to help them taking the best ones of the garments they want to share with the community.

How many items can I borrow? How long can I keep them?

Once you become a Nuw member, you can borrow as many as you like for as long as the lender will let you!
The only rule to borrow is to share and lend as least 3 items with the community.

Who is Nuw for? 

Our target is young women with an interest in fashion and passion for sustainability, who want to mix up their wardrobe in an eco-friendly way. Most importantly though, we want to provide an accessible and affordable platform for sustainable fashion for everyone, allowing absolutely anyone to take part in our shared wardrobe!

Ph: one of the items lended on Nuw platform, available to be borrowed!
Source: Nuw Instagram profile, https://www.instagram.com/wearenuw/.

How does sustainability apply to your business model?

Nuw’s most important pillar is sustainability. Borrowing is actually the most sustainable way to change often our outfits, and we wanted people to be able to do it with their own wardrobes.

We did not want to produce other clothes, because there is already plenty of brands and plenty of garments. We therefore focused our business on a service rather than on a platform.

We also developed and impact calculator, together with the London Waste and Recycling Board. Each time an item is borrowed on Nuw, we offset 25% of the resources that would have been used in the production of a new item. This calculator tells our members the carbon, waste and water offset they created by borrowing instead than buying.

Our customers love it! This is an important tool that can help people to understand the positive impact they can have with such a simple choice!

What are the gold and silver tiers? How do they work?

Before being uploaded on Nuw, every item undergoes a selection. Mid-market and luxurious fashion items become Nuw gold pieces. Once a member uploads such type of items, becomes automatically a Nuw Gold member and can borrow as many Gold items she wants.
The same applies to those high-quality, high street and excellent conditions items, which become Nuw Silver ones.

Why did you decide to make people pay for a membership rather than applying a fee on each transaction?

One of the most important problems related with sustainable fashion is that is expensive. This is linked with the fact that, the production of a garment with natural fibers and in an ethical and sustainable way, has a certain cost. 
This is completely fine, because you know you invest in something which will last and which you will keep well.

We wanted to offer a sustainable way to live fashion to everyone, and is there any simpler and funnier way than lending and borrowing as many clothes as you want with friends?
We also want people to share as many items as they like, without making them pay for each transaction. This way they can really enjoy sharing as much as they want. 

What is your mission?

To reduce the impact of fashion on our planet! By going back to the old-school methods of swapping and sharing with friends, we can minimize the insane amount of clothing that ends up in landfill and make sure every piece of fashion finds a home to extend its lifecycle.

Ultimately, we want to make reusing fashion the norm, and share with others how fun and easy sustainable fashion can be!

How can I bring Nuw to my city? 

We’re excited to have launched all across the UK and Ireland – meaning more people to contribute and take part in our big shared wardrobe! The goal is to provide an accessible platform for sustainable fashion on an international scale. Our platform is community-first; it wouldn’t exist without all the amazing members who share their wardrobe.

As long as there are people who want to be involved with Nuw, there’s somewhere for us to grow!


Here’s the link to The Nuwardrobe website: https://www.thenuwardrobe.com.

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