Solution Overview

Solution Name


One-line solution summary.

SwagSwap is an online clothes trading platform, operating on a point-based currency.

Elevator pitch

What is your solution?

Our solution is SwagSwap, an online point-based trading platform, striving to make affordable and sustainable clothing accessible to everyone. 

If a seller has an article of clothing that they do not want anymore, they can go on the website and answer a few questions about the item. Once answered, we will provide the seller with a recommended selling price, which they can then use or alter. 

Once the item is posted on the website with some background information, it’s ready to be sold! If a user is interested in buying the item, the item will be shipped to the buyer, and the seller is reimbursed with the points they sold the item for. 

Using these points, the seller can purchase new items on the site. However, there can also be a case where a seller’s item does not get sold. In that case, a seller with the premium plan has the option to send their clothing to the sustainable artist network. 

The artists would remake the clothing into sustainable merchandise, and the item would be uploaded once again on our website. Once the item sells, the seller will receive 70% of the recommended point price and can use those points to shop for new items.

Through this, we aim to create a circular economy of buyers and sellers spending and using points.

What specific problem are you trying to solve?

Global fashion styles are rapidly changing in today’s world. To keep up, consumers, especially teenagers, constantly buy new clothes. However, these clothes are often simply discarded after the user is bored with the style, or when the clothes do not fit anymore.

Every year, 17 million tons of new clothing are manufactured (EPA). According to a survey we conducted, 67% of teens today throw out their clothes before even 2 years of use - in fact, the average person throws away 70 pounds of clothing per year. This results in a ripple effect - and so 13 million tons (out of the 17 million) of textiles are landfilled globally every year (EPA). Over 95% of these clothes could have been reused or recycled (Sustainable Brands). 

Additionally, this constant buying and discarding takes on a major toll on not only the environment, but also the consumer's wallet. In 2020, teenagers spent an average of $508 on clothing (CNBC). 

Our solution aims to provide an alternative to this by offering customers a sustainable, environmentally friendly way to dispose of their clothes and shop for new fashion - without spending large amounts of money on it.

Who does your solution serve? In what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Our solution aims to serve predominantly teens and young adults. Most teenagers cannot afford to splurge on clothes because they do not have a stable income source of their own. 

Our solution takes this into account. Trading on SwagSwap is based upon points, so money is not required to access clothes and accessories.

Additionally, the world of sustainable fashion has been largely dominated by teenagers who are looking to make a change and stray from fast fashion. By catering predominantly to this age group, we would be able to make our website appealing and fun for teenagers to shop on. We also plan to broaden our social media horizon, which is mainly dominated by teenagers and young adults themselves.

What steps have you taken to understand the needs of the population you want to serve?

To understand the needs of the population we want to serve, we conducted surveys and interviews with interested teenagers and our target demographic. We interviewed them on whether they would use our website given all the facts, how much they would be willing to pay for a premium membership, and which companies come to mind when they think of our industry. 

We also asked interviewees what they think is the biggest challenge people face during online shopping, and in what way they think it can be solved. By asking this question, we were able to see what typical obstacles people face online shopping that turn them off altogether, such as quality, reputation, shipping processes, and more. 

We were able to see their responses and change our shipping plan and review system accordingly. They also provided us specific feedback regarding our Premium plan pricing - we adjusted the price accordingly and eventually arrived at a consensus of $12.99. We have also reached out to many sustainable artists on Instagram, who have let us know that they would be interested in partnering with us in the future; two prominent accounts are Revival London and Redesign Club.

Which aspects of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Taking action to combat climate change and its impacts (Sustainability)

Our solution's stage of development:

Concept: An idea being explored for its feasibility to build a product, service, or business model based on that idea

Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution—in other words, what have you accomplished to date?

As SwagSwap is currently a concept, we are focused on getting word out in the market and doing market research, such as conducting surveys on the feasibility of our product. 

However, we have accomplished a number of tangible things over the course of the past year. We have entered numerous business pitching competitions and have gained monumental success. Most recently, we were Diamond Challenge semi-finalists, placed 2nd in our school’s business competition, and were 2nd place winners in the NFTE World Series of Innovation Mary Kay Textile Upcycle Challenge. 

As a result of placing in these competitions, we have gained invaluable feedback from a number of noteworthy mentors, including Mr. Rich Keller (entrepreneur and UPENN graduate), Mr. Rich Sedmak (founder of Startup Ventures), and Ms. Sierra RyanWallick (founder of UPCycle Designs, another clothes repurposing startup) - all of them have provided insightful feedback regarding the feasibility of our service. 

SwagSwap has also been mentioned in various news outlets, including newspapers such as Bloomberg, Financial Post, and Yahoo Finance. In addition, we have reached out to a number of sustainable artists over social media and have successfully fostered a few potential partnerships to be taken into effect once the site launches.

Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

South Brunswick Township, NJ, USA

Team Lead:

Diya Shah

More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new project or business that relies on technology to be successful

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

Our solution will incorporate artificial intelligence, big data, social networks, and software applications.

The main page of our website will be a "feed" - consisting of user posts. We will make use of machine learning algorithms to create a recommendation engine. We will use data such as interests in a specific type of clothing or accessory item, interest in specific styles and aesthetics, and interest in specific brands. The “interest” in these will be calculated based on interactions with other posts of those categories. 

Additionally, users will be able to interact with other users, through following and messaging. We want to create a platform with a user experience resembling popular social networking sites to encourage a community of sellers and buyers - rather than just create a store.

In the future, we also plan to create an extension for our site that will show users clothes on SwagSwap that are similar to pictures of clothes they are viewing. Users can use this to recreate looks they like. This will require image recognition AI to identify the “parts” of the outfit and then match it with relevant posts on SwagSwap.

All of these implementations of artificial intelligence, as well as user profiles and posts, will require the processing of large amounts of data, incorporating the big data aspect.

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Big Data
  • Crowd Sourced Service / Social Networks
  • Software and Mobile Applications

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • United States

How many people does your solution currently serve, and how many do you plan to serve in the next year? If you haven’t yet launched your solution, tell us how many people you plan to serve in the next year.

We are currently in the process of building our solution. However, we plan to launch our solution to the greater New York area in the next year, since this area is most familiar to our team. 

We expect to impact 3000 people from this area in the next year. This will include low/middle-income teens from the tri-state region that receive word about our service. We will begin by advertising to our school community, spreading word of mouth through our school’s television network as well as potentially the school newspaper. We also want to advertise our service on platforms that teenagers frequent, such as Spotify, Instagram, TikTok, etc. 

Additionally, we are currently growing our own following on social media.

Working alongside the users will be our sustainable artist network. We aim to have 25 sustainable artists in our network to support our users. To find artists, we will reach out to small businesses and individuals on Instagram. 

With our estimate that 15% of our 3,000 users will be premium users, we believe that premium users will approximately place 3 orders per month. Following that, if 450 premium users post 3 orders per month in one year, 16,000 clothes will approximately be saved from going to landfills. If 2,550 basic users place 1 order per month, approximately 30,000 clothes will be saved from going to landfills in one year, leading to a total impact of almost 50,000 clothes being saved from landfills.

What are your impact goals for the next year, and how will you achieve them?

For the next year, we plan to establish our website, acquire financial assistance, solidify partnerships, and gain trusted mentorship. Although we have received funding from competitions we have applied to and won, we believe that it is better for us to gain more funding in order for us to fully launch our website and get it up and running, as well as establish partnerships with known and local retailers. 

Carrying on to our next goal for the year, we would like to solidify our partnerships with sustainable artists and local retailers for pickup locations. While we have spoken to numerous local boutiques and sustainable artists who are interested in partnering with SwagSwap, we would like to be able to figure out the logistics of these collaborations so that when the website goes live, the sustainable artists and pickup locations will also be established almost immediately. 

Another goal we have, which is imperative for the success and launch of our business, is creating our website online for users to join. While we already know what features we would like to implement, we are hoping to gather more funding and resources to properly execute our ideas. Lastly, we hope to get a strong mentor/financial advisor who will be able to help us project costs and profit, overlook our website, and oversee our day-to-day planning and operations.

How are you measuring your progress or planning to measure your progress toward your impact goals?

We are currently measuring our progress through tracking the notoriety we have gained as a result of entering and winning a number of prestigious competitions, including the World Series of Innovation and the Diamond Challenge As a result of advancing in these, we have been able to promote our idea and gain some traction in terms of funding. 

So far, we have raised $1200, and in order to spearhead development on our site. In the long run, we plan to track our progress by measuring the number of active users and sustainable artists on our site, as well as the number of clothes annually saved from going to the landfill as a result of our operations - at the end of our first operational year, we aim to save approximately 50,000 clothes from being disposed at the landfill (based on a number of estimates, including that 15% of users purchase the Premium plan).

As for UN SDG, our service applies directly to Goal #12, Responsible Consumption and Production - allowing users access to a platform trading already existing resources opens up a circular economy. Additionally, our service applies to SDG #1, No Poverty, as we offer an affordable alternative to buying clothes - according to statistics, the average teenager spends over $500 buying clothes per year. For just a fraction of that price, teens can purchase a yearly subscription on our site and get access to a world of conscious fashion.

What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year?

Financial barriers currently restrict us from building our solution. We will need additional funding to be able to build and host our website and databases. Although we have received $1200 in angel investments, we have realized that it would be insufficient for us to spearhead our website and other ventures that we would like to pursue in the future. 

We hope to accumulate more angel investments in the next few months by entering more entrepreneurship competitions.

Another barrier that exists for us - especially in the time period that we live in, is the stigma of secondhand clothing. While the popularity of both sustainability and secondhand clothing has significantly increased and continues to grow, some people still find it unsanitary and/or representative of poverty. 

To combat this, we, as well as many other influencers are encouraging the idea of secondhand clothing being for everyone on their social networks. We hope that by the time our solution is launched, there will be a significant following of users, in addition to those already interested, that are excited to try secondhand fashion.

About Your Team

How many people work on your solution team?

We have 3 people currently working on our solution team.

How long have you been working on your solution?

We have been working on our solution for approximately 14 months now.

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

As teenagers ourselves, we believe that our inside knowledge on the types of clothes teenagers like, as well as our connection with peers and fashion trends, helps us differentiate ourselves and makes us a lot more connected with our users. 

One of our team members is on the executive board for the two business clubs in our school, and also holds a position in the Diamond Challenge executive board. Her vast knowledge of entrepreneurship and the connections she has with valuable professionals make her an incredible asset to our team.

Another one of our members is extremely passionate and skilled in computer science and graphic design. She serves as the graphic designer for multiple non-profits and has also created the SwagSwap landing page. These skills will be valuable in the creation of our solution website.

Another one of our team members is an excellent writer and serves as a journalist for Redefy. She is also involved in our school newspaper. Her writing skills are a valuable strength to our team. Additionally, she is a part of the highly selective robotics team which makes her an excellent asset to the technical parts of our solution. 

What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?

On a separate section of the SwagSwap site, we plan to collaborate with artists and creators who create sustainable merchandise. We also plan to connect with local retailers and boutiques to help establish pickup locations. 

We are currently working with Revival London and Redesign Club. We have considered possible Instagram partnerships to promote and gain exposure for SwagSwap. We have also discussed future collaborations on the main SwagSwap site.

Revival London and Redesign Club are both experienced in the sustainability and fashion e-commerce industries, so their knowledge and guidance will be valuable to us.

Your Business Model & Resources

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The HP Girls Save the World Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.


If you selected Yes, explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The HP Girls Save the World Prize to advance your solution?

SwagSwap was founded by a team of ambitious 14-15 year old girls, and we have been working passionately on our concept for over a year. 

Our team would use the HP Girls Save the World Prize towards funding the build and hosting of our site, as we believe that our funds will fall insufficient based on the tasks we would like to accomplish. While we have acquired a large amount of funding, the additional funding would help us in expanding our market over the nation, and possibly expand to teach sustainable education with an app. 

We would also use the funding to market our services to impact as many people as possible. SwagSwap is a particularly great fit for the HP Girls Save the World Prize, as we hope to eliminate carbon emissions from the atmosphere by using our EMO shipping plan. By contributing to the environment with no extra carbon footprint, we believe that we can make a real change in the world of shipping and online shopping. 

In addition, SwagSwap’s main goal is to eradicate textile waste and provide sustainable fashion as a feasible alternative to fast fashion.

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The Pozen Social Innovation Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.


If you selected Yes, explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The Pozen Social Innovation Prize to advance your solution?

Fast fashion companies are notorious for subjecting their employees to unsafe conditions and underpaying their employees - which are predominantly women. 

There are an estimated 1.4 million fashion industry injuries annually (Commonobjective). SwagSwaps aims to interrupt the fast fashion cycle by offering an alternative to continuously supporting corporations who proceed with such practices. 

Our sustainable artist network also encourages small business growth - rather than resorting to unethical brands.

Solution Team

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