We all know about how preloved clothing is far more sustainable than buying new. But finding secondhand pieces in your exact size can be a difficult task. That’s why sister duo Nicole and Frankie Theakston have decided to create an app to help eco-conscious folk find their “twin” and refresh their wardrobe the green way.
Bandi is the new mobile app fighting wasteful fast fashion by encouraging people to swap their clothes instead of buying new. Many consumers end up purchasing new because they simply can’t find the piece they want in the right size or fit—and that’s the exact problem that this app tackles.
Bandi, which is set to launch on October 11 in the UK, helps match users with their “clothes swap twin”, and in so doing, creates an entire community of green fashion enthusiasts dedicated to rebuilding and refreshing their wardrobes the sustainable way.
Swap your way to a new wardrobe
The idea for Bandi came when sisters Nicole and Frankie Theakson, who always swapped and shared their wardrobes, thought: “What if everyone had a sister or a friend to swap with?”
For them, it isn’t just about having a bit of fun, but also a way to turn the tables on fast fashion. Every year, the fashion industry produces 100 billion pieces of new clothing, driving 10% of global GHG emissions, and a truckload goes to the landfill every single second. With a global population of 7 billion, it takes no genius to realise we have way too many garments on the planet, and we simply don’t need to be producing any more.
Read: Reduce and reuse the best way approach to sustainable fashion, study says
“Bandi helps people find what we call your Clothes Twin,” shared Frankie. “We match users with people who have a similar taste and body shape in fashion. After their first exchange, they have a message thread open to keep in touch, swap tips and arrange future swaps for years to come.”
“Going green shouldn’t mean going without,. As a society, we have more clothes than we can possibly wear,” added Nicole. “We just need to put them in the right wardrobes. Bandi lets you swap ‘til you drop, building a wardrobe full of items you love without feeling guilty about looking your best.”
Fully circular clothes swapping platform
First launched as a members-only community on Facebook, Bandi is about to be available on iOS as a mobile app. The platform will be free to use, with no subscription needed as users only pay for their postage to and from their clothes swapping buddy.
The founding sister duo says it’s designed for young Gen Zs in mind, many of them secondary school and university students who are looking for an affordable and sustainable way to declutter and refresh their wardrobes. Most of the items listed on the marketplace are “fashionable yet practical” garments that have hardly been worn at all.
To fully close the loop, Bandi also offers each customer the opportunity to buy a reusable Bandi Bag that can stay in circulation for all their swaps, to and from their clothes swap “twin”. This way, users can get rid of any unnecessary and wasteful single-use packaging.
As consumers begin to wake up to the footprint of fashion, more apps are being launched to help people make more sustainable clothing choices. Another app, created by recent university graduate Josephine Philips in the UK, is making it convenient for people to alter, mend and fix their apparel instead of buying new.
Called Sojo and dubbed the “Deliveroo of clothing repairs”, registered users can select and order a tailoring service from a nearby repairs shop—just like ordering a meal on a food delivery platform—and it gets picked up and dropped back off to them once it’s mended.
All images courtesy of Bandi.