Meet the team!

1. Tell us about yourself:

Hi I’m Zaqiya Cajee, I’m the founder of Swopitup. I founded the initiative when I was 15 and I am now 17 and leading groups of volunteers to grow the initiative nationally.

2. Why did you join the SwopItUp team?

I started SwopItUp because I was tired of feeling like I couldn't make a massive impact in the fight against climate change. I could no longer sit back and hope someone else would do something to save my future, I had to act.

I have always loved thrifting but it wasn't until a few years ago that I realized how much better for the environment it is instead of buying new. So I set out on a mission to educate people on the impacts of fast fashion on the environment. However, I also saw a gap in the market of preloved clothes for teenagers. There are plenty of swops and charity shops for adults and even for very young children. The only source of preloved clothes for teens are hand-me-downs from siblings or cousins but that leaves very little space to allow teens to experiment with style and personality. SwopItUp gives 11-18 year olds the chance to experiment with fashion for free whilst doing their bit for the environment.

3. What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?

I love baking, It’s an art I've been mastering for almost my whole life. It’s really fun and helps me to destress. I enjoy getting creative with different ingredients, but my favourite thing to make is a chocolate fudge cake. The best part of baking is eating what you made and sharing it with friends and family, Or just keeping it for yourself!

4. Advice for anyone trying to live a greener life?

Start with one very clear focus point, for me it was fast fashion and make it a very clear, established part of your life. Then you can grow from there. A solid base is necessary to avoid falling over and although it may take time it will be easy in the long run!

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