Profiles

Interview with Lin Kowalska Founder of Popswap

Popswap is a social marketplace where thousands of people from all over the world can swap and discover unique fashion. We talked to Lin Kowalska, founder of Popswap, about sustainability, the future and her best restaurant tips in Stockholm!

Tell about yourselves and what you do.

Popswap is a community and social network for fashion lovers, users, and even brands that all want and believe in the same thing — that clothes are meant to be loved and used. The app makes it easy and fun for people to have a constantly updated wardrobe without a bad conscience for the environment and without big holes in their wallets — by swapping clothes with old friends, new friends, and fashion twins from all over the world.

You use Popswap as a tool to digitize your entire wardrobe; What you like and use you have in your private wardrobe, and what you do not like or use you have in the public one. You then swipe to like clothes and follow friends and influencers to see their closets and get inspired. When two users like something from each other's wardrobe, they match. They chat, make swap suggestions, and meet up or send the clothes to each other. 

Popswap is available on App Store and Playstore.

  How did the idea about Popswap come to life? 

Popswap started due to my own need and desire to see my own and my friends’ wardrobes digitally. Partly to create an awareness of our wardrobe's contents and enable and simplify swaps with other fashion enthusiasts.

Tell us about your background?

I'm an entreprenur, with lots of experience in Marketing, PR, and Sales. The connecting thread for me as an entrepreneur has always been to make it easier for people to gather around what they are passionate about, and Popswap is a new way of expressing their interest in fashion.

How important is sustainability for you?

I grew up in a family that was very into sustainability back when it was called “being a hippie”. I and my brother had clothing diapers, grew vegetables in the garden, and of course, had our compost. I grew up with two students as parents, so I remember the luxury of shopping second-hand because my mum told us we could have “whatever we wanted” - both since it was so much cheaper than new clothes, but she also taught us the importance (fun, and inspiring) of re-using what’s already produced. I would spend hours in second-hand shops, finding unique pieces and sometimes remake them at home. 

There is a completely different awareness among consumers today, especially among the younger generation. We see that resale is growing 25X faster than retail, and it is Generation Z that is behind that development. The awareness of the climate creates an emotional barrier for us as consumers - we want a continued updated wardrobe, but at the same time live environmentally friendly. People (consumers / the target group) lack sustainable alternatives that are not expensive or force them to make major changes to their habits overnight.

Popswap possesses a unique combination of a social platform, an entertaining circular marketplace, and a tool for digitizing and mapping your wardrobe. The result for users is that they get a tool, community, and social network that in a fun and social way creates a sustainable and circular wardrobe while giving them insights into why it is important.

Where do you see Popswap in the next 5 years?

We are just about to close an investment round. The coming phase for Popswap will be all about growing(even more). We will never stop developing our product and have some amazing features related to gamification and extended value that have been requested from our users and community. We also have a couple of brand collaborations coming up, brands that will add value to our users by sharing experiences, activities, and knowledge that contributes to fashion living longer.

I believe that Popswap will be used as a part of your everyday life. Just as you never stop listening to music, or watch a film, you never stop using clothes. Your wardrobe will be digitized in Popswap, and Popswap will be your go-to app to find inspiration and knowledge, connect with friends, your favourite brands and keep an updated wardrobe without bad consciousness for the environment or big holes in your wallet. 

What's the best thing about your job?

Without a doubt working so close to our users and community, being able to develop the best app for sustainable fashion together with them. Popswap is a tech company, and with such a talented and responsive tech team, I feel that anything is possible. The team behind Popswap is hardworking, driven and my co-workers inspire me every day.

Best Restaurants and bars in Stockholm?

My new favorite restaurants are Astoria and Spesso (best view in Stockholm). Also, I am looking forward to Villa Dagmar that recently opened. Best bar must be Morfar Ginko, or Pastis. 

Would you recommend some style advice to our readers?

I believe the best advice would be to use more of what you already own. It may not seem like “style advice”, but as 60-80 % of what we own is never(!) being used I would like to give some advice that encourages us to use more of what we already own. Some advice would be:

Read more about Popswap at popswap.app.

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