November 16, 2020, by sustainablenottingham
Tackling fast fashion with Dopplle
UoN Veterinary Medicine student Sam Hurst and her sister Izzie have spent the last year developing the new app ‘Dopplle’ to help students swap clothes at university and promote sustainable fashion. Here Sam tells us about Dopplle and how students can get involved to tackle the growing global issue of fast fashion.
What is Dopplle?
Dopplle is a clothes swapping app for students promoting sustainable living through fashion. By using Dopplle, students can reduce their textile waste, save money and join the slow fashion movement. We want to encourage the permanent or temporary swapping of clothes among friends and a wider circle. By doing this within universities, it enables users to build their reputation and become more trusted with others’ clothing when they lend items out.
Why did you decide to create your own app?
Since starting university over a year ago, I have become a lot more aware of fast fashion and how it negatively impacts the environment. Information about sustainable living is a lot more accessible at university and I slowly educated myself more about the different areas in which I could make small changes to improve my lifestyle. I have always swapped clothes with my sister Izzie, but since we go to different universities, it became a lot harder to find people to swap with.
Izzie (a Chemistry student at Bath University) and I (a Veterinary Medicine student at UoN) came up with the idea together for a clothes swapping platform several years ago. We both swapped clothes with our friends at university, however, we wanted to have a bigger pool of styles and sizes to swap with. It was also important for us to be more sustainable with our fashion choices as there is so much textile waste when it comes to fast fashion. And so, after months of brainstorming, development and testing – Dopplle was born!
How is Dopplle different?
We know that students often have tight budgets and so the idea of clothes swapping is not only more environmentally friendly and sustainable, but it also makes sense economically. There are loads of fast fashion options on the high street if you want to buy cheap clothes, but if you want to buy more sustainably it can be tricky on a budget.
There are loads of sites and apps now where you can buy preloved clothes, but their growing popularity has also caused an increase in price. We wanted to make Dopplle a fair and regulated place for students to swap clothes, while building a sense of community.
How does it work?
Upon signup new users are placed into their correct university group. Each university is a closed environment so students can only swap with other group members. This creates a sense of community, knowing you are helping other students as well as making the whole transaction of swapping safer. Where possible we also wanted to remove the shipping of clothes, meaning a reduced carbon footprint for all users.
We have introduced a virtual currency within the app called Dopplle Coins. These keep track of how many items people have swapped in and out of the app. We realised that direct swaps (between two people exchanging one item each) is extremely rare and would be almost impossible to find an exact match. By using the Dopplle Coins system, the more items you put into the app to find a new home for, the more items you can take out. Currently all items are valued at 1 Dopplle Coin or 0 Dopplle Coins (aka a donation), but we are looking into being able to change the value of each item if students think it would enhance their experience.
We advise people who start swapping on the Dopplle app to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines in their area and to maintain social distancing.
What interest has there been so far?
We only officially launched the app a couple of weeks ago so we are still super busy spreading the word. But we have had lots of people download the app and start swapping, so we’re really happy! We currently have hundreds of app users from across 70 different institutions, as well as Dopplle Ambassadors at more than 20 universities and colleges, and this number is growing every day!
We’ve had lots of positive feedback from users and our Dopplle Ambassadors about the usability of the app and how excited they are to be involved with a new, sustainable, fashion-forward company.
How can students get involved?
There are two ways students can get involved. The first is to download the Dopplle app from the App Store or Google Play and start swapping today. You can also read more about Dopplle and sign up to the newsletter on the Dopplle website.
The second is to apply to Dopplle’s Ambassador Scheme. Becoming a Dopplle Ambassador will give students the creative freedom to promote and develop their own Dopplle branch along with the full support from Dopplle HQ. They will be able to run their own events across campus, encourage more conversations about sustainable living and help us educate even more students about how to make easy changes to their lifestyle and reduce their impact on the planet.
Volunteering with Dopplle will give students amazing CV experience in areas including business skills, leadership skills, event management, networking, and social media, as well as having many other benefits. Apply to become a Dopplle Ambassador.
What are your future plans?
We are always looking for ways to make the app more intuitive and user friendly. In the future, we are hoping to use the app to inform users about swap shops and other physical events we hope to run (all Covid-19 dependent of course). We would also like to allow users to switch between different groups and universities if, for example, they are visiting friends at a different university and wish to make a swap there.
Finally, we are working hard to spread the word about Dopplle and sustainable fashion. The more people using the app, the more clothes there will be to swap!
So, don’t just swap it, Dopplle it!
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