SWAP: Shop With A Purpose | Kasia Lajlo

“Illuminating the clothing swap system as a vehicle that narrates stories about second-hand items, that ultimately opens up a space for consumers to think critically about their relationships with clothing.”

Key Words: Fashion Sustainability, Clothing Swaps, Consumerism, Stories, Value

This project began with the idea of giving the clothing swap concept a systemized identity, and turned into a poetic representation of swapping clothing through storytelling. Swap Stories: Vol. 1 features 11 individuals who share an interesting story about a clothing item they cherish, as well as information and research about the fast-fashion industry and how to become more sustainable when it comes to consuming fashion. The concept behind these stories is that they would be shared in a clothing swap setting, where all people involved in the swap would have an opportunity to feature their item in the publication, and pass on their story along with their item. As more items get swapped, more stories are collected overtime-and this idea shows that clothing has the potential to be seen as more than just the items we wear, but lived experiences, memories, emotions and a piece of an individual. There is so much more to a used object than what may appear; unless we are aware where the item came from, we have no idea of its history and what it once meant to somebody else.

Problem Space:

• Clothing can often be interpreted as quick, single-use, throwaway items

• People don’t always know the full story behind an item, or are curious to learn more about it

• Not all consumers are accustomed to buying second-hand items, or associate them as negative

• Clothing Swaps aren’t the most popular form of consumption, and are usually initiated within friend                      groups or small gatherings


• To educate the audience about fashion sustainability and alternatives to consumption

• To communicate the clothing swap system as an identity that is clean, organized and fun

• Target consumers who aren’t used to the concept of used clothing and who would consider it otherwise

• To shine light on second-hand clothes to view how a story can change the interpretation of it

• To share people’s clothing stories and to inspire others to take action


• A visual identity for the Swap System

• Swap logo/wordmark

Swap Stories: Vol. 1 Print Publication

• Creative writing/editing based off of interviews

• Printed clothing tags

• An online platform and social media page

• Illustration

• Photography

• Swap “swag”

I redefined the idea of the Clothing Swap by creating an organized system, where participants would submit their items with a story attached to it, and that story would be transmitted into the Swap Stories publication, onto a clothing tag that would be printed for that item, and would feature a unique QR code for each item’s story to be accessible online during a Swap.

Each story is told from the clothing item’s perspective, a unique twist given to the project so there is more emphasis on the idea of clothing being alive and animated. With this approach, more value is placed on the item, and the idea of it living through its own personal journey for us humans to understand.

As my focus was to create a visual identity, I wanted to integrate my own illustrations and photography into the final execution. With each interview I conducted for the publication, I photographed each person wearing their item, and eventually created illustrations of the person and their garment. The blue and cream colour scheme was chosen as the Swap’s visual aesthetic, as it suggests the identity be universal, non-binary and inclusive for all audiences. I chose to use a clean + minimalist aesthetic as clothing swaps can sometimes be thought of the opposite, therefore communicating it as nice and simple was the ultimate goal.


Read the entire publication here

View the SWAP website here

View the full process book here


Kasia is a 21 year old communication designer from Vancouver, BC who is passionate about sustainability, critical design and creative expression.

The majority of her work involves the integration of illustration with design, and as an interdisciplinary designer she also enjoys experimenting with photo documentation, layering, colours, patterning and typography. Logo design, brand identity, and publication design are her areas of focus, however she is always eager to learn new methods + practices. Ultimately, her goal is to communicate stories and create meaningful work that will last.