A group of Exeter University students are taking part in the prestigious Npower’s future leaders challenge, which sees those teams involved setting up a project to promote sustainable living in their local community.
The successful team will win a trip to the Brazilian Amazon, spending 10 days helping tribes people set up solar panels. As part of the Npower’s future leaders challenge students Sophie Walton, Flo Taylor, Catriona Patterson, and Harriet Miller have created the Exeter Style Cycle, an online shopping clothes swapping forum.
As students themselves, the girls realised how much students love to save money. They combined this idea with young people’s interest in clothes and came up with their project the Exeter Style Cycle. Sophie Walton, one of the organisers said: "The clothes industry is one of the most damaging in terms of environmental and human impact, and we wanted to do something about these interests. We also thought it would be something we could make appealing and fun. Students love to save money, and we thought the project would work well in the student population where there is already a sense of community.
"People are able to upload pictures of clothes they wish to swap onto a Facebook forum. These are sorted into appropriate folders by us. Students can search for clothes they like and arrange to swap them individually with other items on the page. If they don't want to swap, small monetary exchanges can also be negotiated independently. We wanted the forum to eventually be a self sufficient and growing phenomenon."
The website has been met with a hoard of success, with the team saying they have seen huge interest come from students who are into fashion and music.
The group have some busy times ahead. A video of their efforts needs to be submitted before 5th November and if NPower accepts a teams DVD proposal, they can go away and set up the project funded by NPower and produce another DVD summarising their efforts in time for the final in late November.
"We aim to install a greener ethos among the local community; reduce consumption of natural resources and provide a fun and sociable approach to fast fashion."
You can visit the Exeter Style Cycle clothes swapping forum at: https://www.facebook.com/ExeterStyleCycle