• Eirini Sampson

Borw App: an innovative way to tap into the world of sustainable fashion in 6 different ways

In light of Second Hand September coming to an end and in an attempt to make every month Second Hand Month, we are very excited to publish this interview with Borw App.


Borw app was founded in 2020 in the UK and is is the first of its kind: an app for sustainable clothing that gives its users not one, but six different ways to support a circular economy and slow fashion. These are: renting, lending, buying, selling or donating your clothes! Their website has through guides on the ways that the app itself works, but also the meaning and importance of circularity in relation to our clothes. Their mission reads:

To become a one-point centre of sustianable fashion, where consumers will be able to trade their fashion items, promote a more eco-friendly way of life, generate income while they sleep, and save money while rotating their fashion items.

The app is free to download on both iOS and Android.


You can find them on social media as @borw_app


 

What are your earliest memories of fashion and style?

You brought back memories of my grandmother knitting clothes, accessories, and even housewares. What's impressive is that we were into upcycling back then because we didn't want to throw anything away and instead wanted to repair or upcycle them. My older sister was in charge of my outfits when I was growing up, and I hope no one sees pictures from those years because my sister wanted to try everything when it came to clothes, making extravagant combinations, whereas deep down inside, I was and still am a fashion minimalist.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Nature is my main source of inspiration, followed by whatever I see around me that appears to be well-balanced.

If you could change one thing about the fashion industry overnight, what would it be and why?

Almost every problem that arises in the global fashion supply chain would be resolved by me. When it comes to fashion sustainability, most businesses concentrate solely on renting, recycling, or simply using high-quality materials. These, in my opinion, are the most popular. Do you think this is sufficient? I'm sure you're aware that in order to solve a problem once and for all, you must first identify its source. As a result, our mobile app provides users with numerous options, such as rent, hire, sell, buy, donate, upcycle, recycle, and so on, and we only focus on sustainable fashion brands, so that what I'd change overnight in the fashion industry is what we're changing right now, the entire global supply chain cycle.

Briefly discuss the relationship of fashion and technology. What do you hope will come out of this relationship?

Nowadays, technology is used in almost every aspect of our lives, as almost everything we use in our daily lives is becoming digital. I guess fashion couldn't escape this. Technology can be used in both positive and negative ways. Consider the following as an example: On the one hand, you can improve the delivery process, such as how quickly fashion items are delivered around the world, but how sustainable is it for fashion items to travel? On the other hand, you can use technology to focus primarily on sustainable fashion items, but you end up distributing them globally. Technology was used for a good reason in both cases, but was the outcome as effective as it could have been? I believe that technology has the potential to change everything, but we must take precautions in where we focus our attention and what we seek to resolve. Despite having the power and technological and non-technological resources, companies nowadays focus on the tree rather than the forest, resulting in fashion having so many negative effects on almost all of its stakeholders. So, as soon as possible, I hope to shift our focus and energy toward more effective solutions rather than short-term, but still very profitable, ones.

How do you leverage technology in your business?

We are using technology to solve almost all of the problems in the global supply chain. For example, we could, without a doubt, adopt more rapid solutions, such as adding a delivery option and signing up with a well-known or widely used courier, but we have decided to create solutions that completely eliminate the major issues in the fashion industry. Consider a company that advertises itself as a supporter of sustainable and ethical fashion, but in the end distributes fashion items quickly and effectively (good for the user) globally (bad for the environment). So, you're not a total supporter of sustainable fashion.

What are some of the most surprising insights from your market research?

So, while the issues confronting the fashion industry were not surprising to me, I was astounded by how easily companies present themselves as sustainable fashion company brands, which, in the end, often stands for greenwashing. The second most surprising finding is that, despite having better and faster access to information than ever before, consumers continue to be unable to identify greenwashing. This implies that critical thinking, or, to put it another way, understanding, is lacking in the place of education.

Has consumer behaviour changed in the last decade? In your opinion, what are the key factors driving that change?

Consumer behaviour, without a doubt, evolves over time, as consumers now have greater access to more things, causing them to want to try or obtain them regardless of whether they need them or not. Except for myself, everyone I know nowadays buys things to impress, or because they are bored with their current ones, or because they found a good deal, or, worst of all because a celebrity uses it. Social media has affected the way we live, shop, spend, and behave in general. Not to mention covid-19, which had an impact on consumer behaviour as well. Interestingly, despite the fact that I am not the best customer for companies because I do not spend a lot of money on clothing, I found myself going to the supermarket to buy a pair of socks in order to make a purchase from a physical store under Covid-19 conditions.

Describe your ideal vision for the future of fashion as we know it.

As I see it, the future of fashion is green, sustainable, ethical, and circular. If all of these terms are represented by technological advancements in the fashion industry, this will be the most significant fashion revolution in history.

What role does Borw play in that future scenario? Who benefits from it most?

Borw is attempting to provide this solution as we work to reduce or even eliminate all of the impacts of fashion within the global supply chain. We have made a good start, and we are determined to continue our work, because this app was created not for money or fame, but for people, rich or poor, white or coloured, young or old, and so on, as well as for the environment. Borw is a combination of the words "borrow" and "mporw," which means "I can do it" in Greek. So, our message is that we can all help to bring about a big change in the fashion industry by respecting ourselves, others, and the environment, and that as a company, we will never stop until our mission is completed.

Favorite article(s) of clothing in your closet right now?

At this period of time, my favorite pieces of clothing in my closet are my upcycled swimsuits.