A risky sequinned blouse, a ‘muted tomato’ cardy and a tie-dyed kaftan.
Last night, the ladies of Ambridge held a swishing party. It was funny, frivolous and completely ordinary.
As I listened, giggling with pride, I was delighted to realise that Futerra’s once-edgy fashion-led invention has lost its cool. If the Archers are okay with it, I can’t use the word ‘innovative’ to describe it anymore.
The episode starts with Susan and Jennifer setting up for the party - manhandling mirrors and worrying about whether there’ll be enough table space for accessories. Jennifer is really the mastermind behind the event, laying down the rules for entry as follows: “As the guests come in collect their £10, count the items that they’ve brought and mark it on their swap voucher”.
A few minutes later and we’re ankle deep in swishing action; “Annabelle’s burgundy ankle boots almost provoked a feeding frenzy”.
Fifty swishers take part (raising an impressive £500 for the organ fund), and apart from a couple of “awkward moments” everyone has a jolly good time. You can listen to the whole episode here.
We invented swishing about eight years ago to make clothes swapping desirable. It tapped directly into an unfulfilled consumer need: the desire to look good and feel good; to get the thrill of retail therapy without the undesirable side effects of debt and consumer waste.
Futerra’s mission is to make sustainable behaviour so desirable it becomes normal. And with coverage in Vogue, Tatler, Grazia and now the bastion of middle England, swishing has done just that. Closed loop has gone mainstream. (Next stop, swishing in the Oxford English Dictionary.)
Trust me when I say this is just the beginning. From electric cars to eating local, from sharing showers to staycationing, sustainable behaviours are becoming more and more desirable and more and more normal. What do you think will come next?