ApparelXchange, a social enterprise dedicated to the reuse, repair and recycling of children’s wear, has been unveiled as the winner of the £50,000 Social Innovation Challenge 2023.
ApparelXchange was established by founding director Izzie Eriksen who, as a parent, was struck by the waste and cost of school uniforms. The company began work in 2018 with pop-up uniform shops in schools.
The company takes unwanted clothing and footwear donations before selling them online and in their Glasgow Southside shop. All donations are quality-checked and cleaned before being prepared for resale. Families can also receive free clothing “when times are challenging”, ApparelXchange says.
Eriksen plans to use the £50,000 grant funding prize, delivered by social enterprise agency Firstport, to “get the clothing system up and running” across the city.
We are focused on ensuring every community in Glasgow is included in accessing lower-impact clothing.
Over the last five years, Firstport says ApparelXchange has become one of Glasgow’s larger providers of preloved children’s clothing. The company also has an online shop and sells preloved children’s clothing across the UK.
Reacting to winning the award, Izzie Eriksen, ApparelXchange’s Founding Director, said: “We are delighted that Firstport appreciates the ambition and vision we have for the city to create the clothing system. The investment is vital to expanding our logistics and collection infrastructure, and capacity to build our networks to redistribute clothing and find value in those services.
“We are focused on ensuring every community in Glasgow is included in accessing lower-impact clothing so that everyone can participate in slowing down carbon emissions while achieving social impacts. We are also working on a replicable business case so that this approach can be adopted in other cities.”
The Social Innovation Challenge aims to contribute to the Scottish Government’s Social Enterprise Action Plan by funding projects.
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