Cult womenswear brand Obus is aiming to close the loop on the lifecycle of its clothing by inviting customers to bring their pre-loved garments to any of its physical stores and swap them for store credit.
The innovative initiative was announced in February, with the brand planning a Swap Shop sale in March to officially launch the service.
Obus’ founder Kylie Zerbst says that the swap service is an attempt to avoid the serious environmental ramifications of clothing and textiles ending up in landfill (or worse yet, languishing in a dark wardrobe!)
Instead, customers can bring in their prints or coordinates, dresses, tops, pants, skirts, jumpsuits and coats from any Obus season to swap in store, where they will be available for Obus customers to buy second hand.
“At the moment we’re accepting Obus clothing from past seasons that is still in excellent condition – think the pre-loved quality you would buy yourself,” Zerbst explains.
“From there, the Obus staff will assess the items on the spot, and the customer will receive store credit in exchange for the items, valid for 6 months.”
Zerbst says swappers can expect to receive up to $80 in store credit for their returned garments.
The garments initially exchanged will be featured at the Obus Swap Shop sale coming up, and thereafter will be for sale at the Obus Market store in Melbourne’s Brunswick East.
Obus plans to pass on the items that don’t sell in the Swap Shop sale or market store to their charity partner Brotherhood of St Laurence, who sell the donated clothing in their charity shops, and on-sell clothing for a variety of uses (like shredded for carpet underlay, or made into rags for the cleaning industry).
Zerbst says this initiative is important as ‘throw away’ clothing just isn’t their game.
“It’s not good for the environment nor the soul,” she says.
“It goes against our ethos and why we put so much time and effort into designing timeless garments that make women feel good and go about the world with confidence.”