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Brief Published: 6 Feb 2020

Patrick McDowell’s LFW Show Will be a Swap Shop


In a bold move to encourage a slower consumption of fashion, the designer has pledged to not show any new clothes at this season’s London Fashion Week. Instead, he’s choosing to host and curate a swap shop in collaboration with Global Fashion Exchange and the British Fashion Council.

British fashion designer Patrick McDowell is taking a different approach to his Fall/Winter presentation. Instead of previewing his latest collection, guests are encouraged to bring unwanted garments to donate and swap at the event. It will take place alongside traditional shows inside the Positive Fashion Exhibition at 180 The Strand during London Fashion Week, running from February 14-16. The value of each item and what it can be swapped for will be determined by a points system based on the item’s quality. A customisation station will also be present, where guests can personalise their new items with upcycled Swarovski crystals. 

Additionally, McDowell and Global Fashion Exchange are collaborating on a larger swap shop during the week that is also backed by Fashion Revolution and sustainable fashion expert Patrick Duffy. In this iteration of the concept, up to five quality-screened donations can be swapped on a one-to-one basis, and a recycling bank will be available for items that don’t pass the quality-assurance checks.

This is a really innovative way to combat the need for designers to constantly create new collections and more garments each season. McDowell is not simply opting out of fashion week, but is instead using his presence during the event to encourage a slower and more sustainable approach to shopping. For more on sustainable fashion initiatives, see Look Ahead 2020: Fashion as well as Leveraging Longer Product Life and The Wealth in Waste from our Macro Trend Towards Our Sustainable Future. Read our most recent Sustainability Round-Up for other recent highlights.