Fashion Swap Manama

Problem Statement:

The fashion industry is responsible for up to 8% of global carbon emissions (source: UNEP), and on average consumers buys 60% more clothing than 15 years ago and each item is only kept for half as long, creating more waste. Furthermore, the industry is associated with inequitable, unethical, and hazardous labour practices, often for below livable wages.

A survey by Barnados shows that on average, items of clothing are worn only seven times before they are disposed of, and that on average women use as little as 20 to 30 percent of the contents of their wardrobes.

While movements towards more sustainable fashion consumption includes second-hand shopping, in the Gulf, there remains a stigma around second-hand shopping.


Target Group: Individual consumers, aged 18-35, reached through social media platforms of all participating collaborators


Proposed Solution: Curating a fashion swap as a community of people connected through any one of the participating members creates more familiarity around the garments being sold second-hand, reducing the impersonal quality of second hand shopping

A documentary screening of The True Cost, along with a brief conversation with Sustainable Fashion advocate The Undressed Co, brings awareness to the labour conditions and environmental hazards associated with fast fashion.


Hub Activities:

1. Establish an event with several collaborators, to create a sense of community around the fashion swap. This included the Global Shapers’ Manama Hub, Global Shapers’ Budaiya Hub, The Undressed Co., and Higher Grounds Café.

2. Curate a brief and engaging discussion around fast fashion, to establish the social and environmental objectives of moving away from fast fashion. This included a screening of the True Cost.

3. A fashion swap was coordinated by participating members to ensure the quality of clothing being swapped and fair swapping conditions, along with the option of donating clothes to be upcycled.


Short & Long-Term Goals/Results:


  • Facilitate second-hand swap of clothing items

  • Hold a conversation about fast fashion

  • Facilitate the option of donating clothing items to be upscaled instead of entering the swap


  • Cultivating awareness around labour conditions associated with fast fashion, including hazardous conditions and inequitable wages

  • Cultivating awareness around the environmental cost of fast fashion, including water pollution, landfill waste, carbon emissions, and unsustainable resource extraction

  • Developing an alternative to fast fashion that is more suited to local preferences around purchasing



Short term:

  • Number of items swapped: 80

  • People attending the talk: 30

Long-term metrics:

  • Future fashion swaps conducted by any of the partners: TBC


  • Global Shapers Budaiya Hub

  • The Undressed Co

  • Higher Grounds 

  • Kiswa