We break down the process and what to expect at the store, based on our own swapping experience
Buying used clothes, accessories and shoes is becoming less and less of a taboo these days, and it’s about time. Not only is buying used a great way to save some money, it is also an excellent way of caring for our environment. You are essentially doing all the three Rs all at once! Besides the more obvious reusing of resources, by choosing used over new, you also reduce the need to draw on new textile resources, and you extend the life cycle of a garment before it ends up in a landfill.
Combine buying used with the giving away of your own pre-loved clothes to be reused, and you are making your personal wardrobe exponentially more sustainable! Lucky for us, a one-stop shop to fulfill both sides of the sustainable fashion equation was recently launched in 2018. Located in Liang Court, The Fashion Pulpit is a physical and permanent store where visitors can bring in a bunch of their pre-loved items and get points for them to swap for other pre-loved clothes available. And it’s not just clothes (which in itself already ranges from casual tees to workwear to wedding gowns) – there are also shelves of accessories, bags, scarves and shoes.
If you think the store is going to be a packed little place with messy piles of clothing all over each other, think again. The vibrant and spacious interior (decked out in loads of used furnishings too) of The Fashion Pulpit is as charming as an independent boutique.
We can bet you have at least one piece of clothing right now that you no longer want or can wear. What should you do with it? Many Singaporeans would throw it out, indeed doing so for an average of 27 clothes a year, according to a CNA survey in 2016. Such startling practices prompted Raye Padit to start several sustainable fashion initiatives even before he founded The Fashion Pulpit. “The main objective of The Fashion Pulpit is to make swapping the first alternative to shopping,” Raye says. “I really feel that it’s not only beneficial for the planet, it’s also beneficial for everyone. It saves money and provides more options as an extension of their wardrobe.”
After hearing good things about The Fashion Pulpit from friends, we decided to give it a try. The process, especially the points calculation, is something best understood when experienced first-hand. So, here’s a step-by-step guide to clothes swapping at The Fashion Pulpit, as we have personally experienced it, and why we definitely recommend everyone to try it too.
1. Check the fees and conditions of each type of swap pass
Swapping at The Fashion Pulpit involves a fee, let’s get that out of the way first! We recommend that newbies get the one-time swap pass at $35, to get a taste of swapping at The Fashion Pulpit before you commit to a long-term membership that also costs more. If you fall in love with it (and we’re pretty sure you will), you can choose from one of the three membership tiers available, whether you want a one-month, three-month, or six-month pass to swap to your heart’s content at the store. For a one-time swap, you can only bring up to 10 of your own items to swap, while an unlimited number is allowed if you are a member.
Two of us from Team Weekender shared both the cost and clothes quota of a one-time pass, so we brought five pieces of clothing each to add up to 10. Do not that this sharing of an account is not usually allowed at The Fashion Pulpit, though.