The Maltese NGO Breathing New Life Into Your Old Clothes


You may have heard of Żibel, and the hard yards the put in to make sure our island is as rubbish free as possible. Over the years, they’ve also looked to reduce fashion waste, by organising a number of fashion swap events. However, COVID hit the brakes and ripped out the ignition of many initiatives, no matter how well-intentioned, and the swap events had to stop.

Fortunately, the brains behind the NGO were savvy enough to shift operations online. So, how did this outfit do it?

They got their own website

Despite having over 1,500 “Swap & Shop” members on a Facebook group, they were beset by social media’s inadequacies when it comes to such selling groups. Step forward, where it’s much easier and much safer to shop.

The site’s goals are two-fold:

  1. To empower consumers to give a second life to their beloved or not so loved garments; as well as 
  2. Encourage local fashion designers to sell their designs – this also includes selling old or imperfect stock (at a reduced price).

Every garment sold will help extend its life, in turn saving energy in production, recycling, raw materials used, and diverting as much as possible from ending up in a landfill. The website will include adult’s clothes (men and women), as well as children’s clothing and accessories.

Cool. How does it work?

It’s a four-step process that includes a 5% commission on any sale made. This is to cover the payment gateway fees, since SwapShop are providing the selling platform. Which is entirely fair in the grand scheme of things, as they help you get rid of the clothing you don’t want, and their other hobby is keeping the island clean. So, it all works out fine in the end. Having said that, you can pay with Revolut or cash to avoid the fee.

  1. Users would need to create an account via the website (either on desktop or mobile – a mobile app should be in the works). Buyers can register free of charge, while sellers pay a monthly subscription fee (€1.66 or €4.16, depending on whether you’re an individual seller or a shop) to list their items on the site;
  2. Input payment details (sellers will not be charged immediately as a two-week trial is in place);
  3. Take photos of the items you’d like to sell, and add them as listings on the site.
  4. Signing, sealing and delivering in your trusted hands. Żibel, are simply providing the platform for you to use.

Worth pointing out for point number one is that the subscription fee will also provide you with free access to any future clothes swap events. Once this pandemic is over, of course.

So, if you’ve got a couple of clothing items that no longer fit your style, it’s time to give them a second chance.

Follow SwapShop on Instagram via and Żibel on Facebook.