Clever Creatives: Meet Brigid Gordon and Bethany Wicks of SWOP 

Brigid Gordon and Beth Wicks are giving old clothes the chance to shine once more. They are the faces behind the West End institution, SWOP, and we were lucky enough to have a little chat with them about the work they do.

The very concept of SWOP is golden. Trade operates as usual, but each Friday from 10-5, they open their doors to the buy/sell trade – customers are given the chance to bring in unwanted clothes and are given store credit or cash in return.

SWOP“Think of it as a tangible eBay or Etsy store, we are the platform for people to buy, swop and sell,” says Brigid. “We just make that happen on a local and community level,” Beth adds, “we want to provide an interesting place for our customers and a different way of shopping by making people think of alternate ethical options.”

Everything you find is SWOP is sourced from the public, besides a tiny proportion from Beth and Brigid’s own wardrobes or Op-shop finds. “As avid op-shoppers we still keep the practice alive,” says Brigid. This love of Op-shopping is what first stemmed the idea of SWOP.

“Brig and I used to do markets and sell things we had found and loved but didn’t want to keep for ourselves,” says Beth.

“It’s just about the appreciation of clothes that might not be your own personal style, but passing them on so someone else can have them,” says Brigid.

The end result is a curated second-hand store that puts clothes to use that might otherwise go to waste. Shopping at SWOP means you don’t only get something you love at a lower price, but you are contributing to something positive.

The now two and a half year old shop opened an Adelaide store in November of last year. SWOP Shop - Brigid and Beth“They have a similar thing to Brisbane, there are people wanting a different kind of shopping experience, but not much is on offer. So when new things open up, it makes a pretty big impact,” says Beth.

“The idea worked so well [in Brisbane]. We wanted other people to make use of our concept, says Brigid, “we all have a social responsibility to look after the world we live in, so it’s just our little part to counteract with fast-fashion and how crappy it is to go shopping in today’s age.

“Clothing is the second largest polluter in the world and so many of us forget that. We are naive and oblivious to the larger issue we are contributing to, so we can simply wear the clothes we want.”

“If SWOP gets someone thinking about where their clothes are coming from, then we are proud of that. Just getting the message out there is a great start to making more of a change,” says Beth.

Written By Mercy Bass