GV Wardrobe approaches one-year anniversary of ‘finding new homes’ for loved clothes
In Sam Spinks’s bedroom, there are tubs and tubs of clothes full of hundreds and hundreds of items.
While Miss Spinks loves clothes, they’re not all hers. They’re the clothes of hundreds of people from across the country who have joined a kind of giant, virtual swap meet co-ordinated, run and organised by Miss Spinks and named the GV Wardrobe.
The business is about to turn one, being born in between lockdowns and coronavirus outbreaks last year as online shopping peaked.
People will browse clothes on the site, pick an item they want and fork over $10 for it — plus postage if you’re more than 30 minutes from Shepparton.
Those same people will send clothes in, with five clothes sent in equalling a new item — each one is worth a $2 credit.
Miss Spinks said it started after she began accumulating items of clothing she still loved but didn’t wear any more, and didn’t want to throw out.
“It’s really just about finding new homes for these pieces that are really gorgeous,” she said.
“And the only reason they’re not being worn is because they’re not right for that person anymore.
“I just wasn’t ready to let go of them and the only kind of options are either to sell it yourself, which is a pain to do, or to give it to the shop.
“I love op shops but they’re very hit and miss.”
Miss Spinks said people immediately cottoned on to the concept.
“All these clothes suddenly came out of wardrobes and people wanted to get involved,” she said.
And, after a year, what goes around is coming back around again.
“It is starting to circle around, which is really fun,” she said.
“Yeah, it’s really exciting to see a piece that I’ve seen before and know that, you know, that’s not only going to get one more life, it’s going to get another life.”
It’s Miss Spinks’s first foray into the business world, and ties in with her many different jobs — from running Etsy stores to co-ordinating social media and community development roles and being a Greater Shepparton City councillor.
The support she has received has been “wonderful”, and she has tried to give back where possible.
Any coupons that aren’t used have the $2 value of that coupon donated to local shelters across Shepparton, with nearly $2000 donated in the first year of operation.
Miss Spinks is also proud of fighting back against “fast fashion”, cheap clothing that gained popularity during lockdowns but was designed to last only one or two wears before being thrown out and clogging landfill.