Global Fashion Exchange Swap Shop is coming to Dubai

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Global Fashion Exchange Swap Shop is coming to Dubai

The Global Fashion Exchange, where crowds gather to swap old or unwanted clothing, is coming to the UAE.

The event, held in conjunction with Istituto Marangoni Dubai fashion design school, focuses on sustainability and allows people to trade and exchange pre-loved items.

This follows in the steps of the GFX Swap Shop event held in Riyadh in December 2021, and is a marker of how the Middle East is embracing the sharing economy.

Founded by Patrick Duffy in 2013, the idea behind the Global Fashion Exchange is simple — to enable people to actively exchange and recycle pre-loved fashion items. Pivoting around the idea that the most sustainable piece of fashion is already in our wardrobes, GFX stages events to help clothes to find new homes. says billions of items of clothing are estimated to be languishing unworn in wardrobes around the globe.

How it works

The event will take place at the Istituto Marangoni Dubai in the DIFC on Thursday. Anyone who wants to be involved should first register online, before dropping pre-loved clothes and accessories at the venue between the hours of 2pm and 5pm until Thursday. Each item donated earns one token, and tokens can be traded at the event. There is no money involved at any stage of the process.

Donated clothing and accessories should be clean and in good repair meaning torn, dirty and ruined clothing will not be accepted.

Speaking at the launch of the initial event in Saudi Arabia, Duffy explained the idea was to “educate, enhance and create community around an idea of sharing items in our closets to extend their life”. He added: “Through the act of consciously renewing our wardrobes we can create a positive impact on people and the planet while doing so in a stylish and exciting new way.”

Before the Swap Shop event begins, there will be a panel discussion, headed by Duffy, on matters around sustainability and what can be done to have a positive impact. Also speaking will be Istituto Marangoni Dubai director Roberto La Iacona and Chalhoub Group chief sustainability officer Florence Bulte.

There will also be customisation stations across the venue, such as Re-Flower, where visitors can learn to make flower clusters from recycled plastic bottles, while Sibylle Kleinhans will give lessons on embroidery to repair or disguise holes and stains on cashmere and denim.

Elsewhere, visitors can learn tricks to revamp and update garments through painting techniques and fabric manipulation, while Istituto Marangoni students will be on hand to style customised outfits that will be photographed by Frank Dautant.

Thursday, 4pm to 7.30pm, Istituto Marangoni Dubai, the DIFC. More information is available at

Updated: May 03, 2023, 4:02 AM

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