Ireland’s first clothes sharing app launched in Dublin this month, taking a step in the sustainable direction.
Following an extensive amount of testing during the Summer, the app – Nu – brings the model of clothes sharing to Ireland for the first time.
Billed as a social network for women looking for an unlimited revolving wardrobe, the app was created by Dubliners Aisling Byrne and Ali Kelly.
Speaking about the app, Aisling Byrne, said: “Creating a sharing economy for clothing means that pieces that might have gathered dust at the back of Dubliner’s wardrobes get to see the light of day.
“As Irish women ourselves, we’re guilty of keeping our ‘good’ clothes for special occasions and then never wearing them. We want to take the stress out of finding nice outfits for special occasions and to encourage our members to get the most out of their wardrobes.”
Back in 2014, Aisling and Ali went to India on the Suas volunteer programme and saw first-hand the reality of the fast-fashion industry. When they returned to Dublin, they struggled to find affordable alternatives to fast-fashion brands. Both feeling isolated in their efforts to make more conscious fashion choices, they decided they needed to make a change.
What began as an idea became a reality from late 2017. Building a Squarespace website for women at Trinity College, the site allowed students to share ball gowns ahead of Trinity ball.
Roaming the Trinity lecture theatres, Aisling asked for photos of outfits that students would be willing to share for the upcoming ball. Up they went on the Squarespace – with students coordinating swaps over WhatsApp. With 350 sign-ups and 60 swaps in three weeks, Nu had proved that the model could work.
The web platform launched in September 2017 and people outside of Trinity could now upload and share their clothes online with the growing Nu Community. Nu recruited brand ambassadors and began to build student communities across the UK and Ireland.
Aisling said: “We want to offer Irish women an alternative to fast-fashion. Nu encourages friendship, sharing and actually wearing our clothes with a goal to extend the life-cycle of our favourite pieces. Looking good doesn’t have to cost the earth.”
The app aims to create communities of women across the country who can share their much-loved, but little-worn, items of clothing. Women of all ages and sizes can use the app to share clothing for upcoming events such as weddings, Christmas parties and work events as well as day-to-day and street-style fashion.
To track the environmental impact of the Nu app, Aisling worked with the London Waste and Recycling Board to develop a detailed impact calculator allowing members to track their carbon, waste and water offset each time they borrow and lend pieces on the platform.
Find out more about Nu on their website here, or follow Nu on Instagram.