Interview with Aisling Byrne, Co-Founder of Nuw

Nuw is a clothes-sharing app and community, dedicated to empowering people to reduce the environmental impact of fashion by giving life to the clothes that already exist in our communities. Upload high quality but under-loved clothes, then request to borrow short-term or swap an item to keep permanently.

Each time an item is borrowed or swapped on Nuw, we offset 25% of the resources that would have been used in the production of a new item. Our members are at the forefront of this movement, using what we already have in our wardrobes to shape the future of fashion.




How did you come up with the idea for the company?


We took a trip to India in 2013, the same year as the Rana Plaza collapse, where we experienced firsthand the devastating social and environmental impacts of the fashion industry. We were angry that we had been so complicit in an industry that caused so much harm, and heartbroken because we didn’t feel we could enjoy fashion without contributing to the problem.

We wanted to change our habits but many sustainable alternatives felt like a luxury we couldn’t afford, so we went in search of an accessible and affordable solution. It didn’t take long for us to realise we were already doing this, by borrowing from friends for events or sharing with siblings, it just needed to be on a bigger scale. This led us to create Nuw – a social network to share clothes with people in your local community and extend the life cycle of our wardrobes.



How has the need for Nuw evolved over the past few years?


We began running swap shops in our final year at Trinity College Dublin. We found that many people were keeping beautiful pieces in their wardrobe because they couldn’t bear to permanently part with them, but these pieces were lying unloved for far too long. We set up a trial the next year for the Trinity Ball, allowing people to borrow items for a limited amount of time.

The web platform launched in 2017, recruiting some amazing brand ambassadors in London, Cambridge and Dublin and growing from there. Honestly it’s all down to our community! We’ve met incredible people who see the value in Nuw, leading to us launching our app on iOS and Android in January this year. It’s definitely been a whirlwind to get to where we are now; adding a new swap feature, partnering with UPS and expanding across the UK & Ireland!


What can we hope to see from Nuw in the future?


We’ve most recently grown nationwide across the UK & Ireland, and growth across Europe and North America is next on the agenda. As a peer-to-peer sharing app, our growth depends on our community uploading and sharing pieces with others, and then bringing more people on.

The more people on the app, the more beautiful clothes we get to share and give a full life. We’re also taking into account different ways we can make the platform more engaging for our users, including new search functions, a Renuwer community page, and more personalisation to your profile.


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