Founder of Global Fashion Exchange
Patrick Duffy founder of GFX. Patricks passion for social impact led to the creation of Global Fashion Exchange in 2013, an international initiative challenging the fashion industry to create a more sustainable world through promoting sustainable consumption patterns, such as reusing and recycling.
Global Fashion Exchange is an international platform that promotes sustainability in the fashion industry with inspiring forums, educational content and cultural events. Through interactive clothing swaps, GFX empowers consumers to take action for a better environment while they stylishly renew their wardrobe and save hundreds of thousands of clothes from going to the landfill. Even a small change, will mean a huge impact on a global scale. In addition to his work with GFX, Patrick also manages global partnerships for Common Objective (CO) is an intelligent business network for the fashion industry.
In the second video of our Executive Education in Sustainable Fashion Master Talks series, WeDesign CEO Simon Collins speaks with Global Fashion Exchange (GFX) Founder, Patrick Duffy about the rising popularity of the swapping and sharing economy in clothing and how his work is elevating and curating this previously untapped, but massive future market. Now operating in 40 countries and across 52 cities, Duffy and GFX are harnessing the power of communication, partnership and shared activism to advocate for a powerful new way of connecting to community and sustainability.
The “sharing economy” or the “peer economy” has been hailed by many as a new model of consumption which promotes sustainability. Defined as “peer-to-peer (P2P) based activity of acquiring, providing, or sharing access to goods and services” the sharing economy limits personal acquisition and ownership of goods and instead utilizes, in most cases, an online platform to source and rent goods for a period of time. Companies such as Rent the Runway, Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, TaskRabbit, among many others are examples of the sharing economy. Even companies which promote a new style of ownership, such as the Real Real could be viewed as an auxiliary member of this new model. Though sustainability is not typically cited as an overarching goal of companies in the sharing economy, efficiency and directness to consumer are major objectives.
Organizations such as Global Fashion Exchange (GFX) is an important stakeholder in fashion’s own sharing economy because it connects users closets together in order to exchange clothes for new-to-you fashion instead of buying new from retailers. By facilitating the exchange of clothes on a massive scale, GFX creates fun and free events which users can have access to each other’s closets and be more sustainable by limiting consumption of new goods.
“Brands are really having to rethink about how they are going to be creating and continuing and moving forward because there is just such an excess of everything.”