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Behind the brand: The clothing exchange website helping save money and the planet

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The Dress Change is an online community that allows you to exchange your clothes online. Unlike traditional reselling sites it works to help you save money (you don't need to spend a penny) whilst also saving the planet by recycling your clothes. You know what they say - one man's trash is another man's treasure.

We spoke to founder Montana Marshall to find out the story behind her innovative company, that has women at its heart.

Montana Marshall, founder and CEO of The Dress Change // Image courtesy of Tribe PR

The story behind the brand...

So what actually is The Dress Change? Montana explains: "The Dress Change is a caring women-led company. We are here to help women save money by making fashion affordable and also be a force for good in making fashion sustainable in the UK. We offer an online womenswear exchange allowing women to swap clothing, shoes and accessories."

So, how does it work? Montana says: "It couldn’t be simpler. All you need to do is create an account, upload a brief description and some good quality photos of your items, and then post. You can then bid on other items available to exchange. Once the other member has accepted your bid, all you need to do is send your item to the address provided and wait to receive yours. Not only is it easy, but you can basically get a whole new outfit every month for under a tenner."

A brand born from a girls' night ...

So, what is the main ethos behind the brand? "At The Dress Change we care about women and the world in which we live in. We genuinely believe fashion should be afforded to everyone and we aim to provide this in a very unique and sustainable way. Our customers are women just like us," explains Montana.

"The idea for The Dress Change came about in late 2017. I hosted a weekly girls' night at my house, where we would usually cook/order take out, have a few cocktails, and catch up on everyone’s world, talking well into the night. On one particular girls' night, we decided to go out for drinks to a new bar in the area. All of a sudden, and before we were due to leave, no one liked what they were wearing. They all started rifling through my wardrobe for items to wear and swapping pieces between each other until everyone was happy and suitably dressed for our impromptu night. I watched this all taking place and the idea for The Dress Change was born."

Sustainability and saving money...

Why did Montana choose to create a dress exchange site, rather than going with a traditional reselling model? She explains: "The focus for me was getting the value out of the items you already own and using those as a sort of currency to get new items. If it’s an old dress that you wore to a wedding, chances are you won’t want to wear it again. But somebody else might and they also may have something else in their wardrobe that you would like in exchange. Buying and selling is great, but there is something about getting something for ‘free’ that is just thrilling!"

Another big part of the brand is sustainability - stopping clothing waste is a huge topic of conversation right now and it's something that Montana has always had an interest in. She says: "I’ve always seen the value in second hand and upcycling. I remember being super excited as a girl to receive my cousin’s hand me downs. I also used to make these cute scarf wrap tops aged 15, repurposed from old scarves and bikini tops from charity shops. It’s been a journey for me (as it is no doubt for most people) and I'm learning more and more each day about sustainability in the world of fashion."

A love for fashion...

Montana has always been passionate about clothing and has loved fashion for as long as she can remember: "I’ve always had a great interest in lovely clothes. In actual fact, my passion has been less focused on the top fashion trends, but more on beautiful clothing. I've always felt that if you like it, you should wear it and be your genuine self. For me, it’s always been more about how fashion makes me feel.  If I'm wearing a pair of shoes or a dress that I love, and I feel like I look good then it automatically makes me feel great."

Despite this love, her transition into the industry was an organic process rather than studying a fashion-based degree. "I didn’t actually attend university. I started working part-time at age 14 and decided the best course for me would be to gain as much experience working my way up, with the view to running my own successful company one day," she says.

Words of wisdom...

Finally, as with all of our interviews with brand founders, I asked Montana for any words of wisdom that she could pass on. She says: "I think my key piece of advice would be to talk to anyone and everyone in the industry. People are so receptive when you talk about a cause that matters. Don’t be afraid to reach out and start a conversation with them; you never know where it may lead.

Find out more about The Dress Change here.

Lead image courtesy of Tribe PR




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