FAQ’s Surrounding Dopplle in relation to COVID-19

Due to the current pandemic and the risk factors relating to COVID-19, Dopplle have been asked a range of questions on how our business is keeping our Ambassadors and our Clients (students and the general public alike) safe during these times.

General Questions

How has Dopplle been affected by COVID-19?

Before COVID-19 started to become an issue in the UK, Dopplle had lots of Swap Shop events planned at universities and schools. We decided it was in our best interest, and our customers, to cancel all the events. We also returned the clothes back to our customers as we had no idea when it would be safe to start running Swap Shops again.

Dopplle stopped working in an office before the lockdown was put in place as we felt it was safer for our employees. Since lockdown has started, we have all been working from home and constantly kept in contact via emails, daily Skype calls and the occasional Zoom call. Even though we had to cancel all of our upcoming events, it meant that we had less distractions and could focus on developing and refining our app. Over lockdown our biggest success has been creating an app that is now available to download from the App Store and Google Play Store!

Is it still safe to swap clothes?

Yes it is safe to still swap clothes but we have put a number of safety precautions in place to reduce contact between households and as of current, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted from soft surfaces, like clothing, to humans. Whether you are swapping clothes within the Dopplle app or at a Swap Shop event, all necessary precautions have been put in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.

If you are still concerned, please remember that shops, stores and charity shops are back open with a number of safety precautions in place. Dopplle have taken the time to see how they are keeping staff and customers safe and have followed the guidelines appropriately.

How long do I have to wait until the virus is not active on items of clothing?

We suggest leaving the clothes for 24 to 48 hours before handling. It is suggested that the virus lives on clothes between several hours to a day. We recommend leaving your clothes for that length of time, or carefully washing them before they come in contact with the rest of your home or yourself and others around you.

App Related Questions

How are you keeping your customers and students safe when they are using the Dopplle app?

Dopplle have adapted the app to make sure we are keeping all users as safe as possible by helping them in every step of their Dopplle journey through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dopplle have implemented Dopplle Collection Points which will reduce contact and help users stay safe. Here users can reduce the contact they have with other members of the community, by dropping an item off at the Dopplle Collection Point, with the other user safely collecting the item from there when they feel comfortable to.

We have implemented a timer within the app which starts when an item is photographed in a “package”. This timer is available to view by the owner of the item, but also the buyer. This means the buyer can handle the package safely, then check the timer to see how long the item has been securely packaged for. Once they are comfortable with the amount of time that has passed, they can open it with the knowledge of how long it has been sealed inside.

Finally, within the app we have added a reminder bar with some advice about COVID-19 safety in order to gently but consistently remind users to adhere to Guidelines and social distancing measures.

How are the actual transactions/swapping of the clothes going to take place?

Currently there are three types of trades you can complete within the app. Each one has different benefits to keep safe while swapping.

Pick up in Person – this is a location that is decided mutually by the owner and the recipient, to be most convenient for both of them.

Dopplle Collection Point – this is a location that has been previously set by Dopplle HQ and Dopplle Ambassadors in a secure location that is accessible for everyone.

My Address – this option allows for buyers to get the item delivered to an address of their choice. This allows the two users involved to have a non-contact delivery as the owner can post the item through their letter box without coming in direct contact with the recipient.

Event Related Questions

Will you still be able to run Swap Shops?

Yes! Swap Shops are fully dependent on the pandemic situation but we are planning on starting them up again. They will be slightly different in order to follow Government Guidelines and social distancing rules. At every Swap Shop, we will have a one-way system, hand sanitisers available in multiple locations and masks worn by all Brand Ambassadors and encouraging customers to use them too. To find out more, please ask to see our Guide to COVID-19 Safe Swap Shops (available on request).

What other events are you planning on running if social distancing guidelines do not let you run any Swap Shops or face-to-face events?

Even if government guidelines cause us to be unable to do face-to-face events, don’t worry! We will make sure you will continue to be educated and updated about Dopplle, the effects of fast fashion and living sustainably via online webinars of tutorials for sewing or lifestyle videos or information about fast fashion.

How are you working with universities to ensure the safety of all individuals involved?

Dopplle has made all universities, colleges, Guilds and Student Unions aware of Dopplle, the Dopplle app and how we operate. Each institution will have different levels of involvement with Dopplle, the app and their events. All institutions are aware of the COVID-19 measures that have been put in place to keep their community as safe as possible.

Can I try on clothes before taking them home with me?

No, we do not let customers try on clothes before they have taken them out of the event area. This is because we want customers to have little contact with the clothes they are not taking home, in order to reduce the risk of contamination. If you are not sure if an item will fit, you will need to make the decision on whether to take it home to try it on, or to leave it at the Swap Shop for someone else to take home instead. As always, please respect the Dopplle Ambassadors and helpers that are working at the event and if they ask you to change your social distancing behaviour, then please comply.

Do customers have to wear a face mask during a Swap Shop?

We highly recommend customers using a facemask throughout the whole Swap Shop event, when they start back up again. This is because there will be a range of students/staff/general public who will be attending the event from a variety of different households, so please respect everyone’s health and safety by wearing a mask. We also ask all customers to respect the social distancing guidelines that are in place at each Dopplle event they attend, whether that is a one way system or having to stay a specific distance away from each other.

How do I know that the clothes are clean and safe?

Dopplle have put in place guidelines for Ambassadors and customers to adhere to. One is that items involved in a Swap Shop have to be donated at a Drop Off point before the event, to try and increase the amount of time the item has been stored, before it is on the rails at a Swap Shop.

Dopplle urges you to wash all your Swap Shop items using the warmest appropriate water settings and dried completely before swapping. If a Dopplle Ambassador chooses to reject your donation of items into the Swap Shop due to their quality, cleanliness or if they do not follow the rules, their decision is final.

If I have already given in my clothes but I am self-isolating when the Swap Shop comes around, what options do I have? Can someone else do it for me?

There are several options available for you that are supported by Dopplle. Firstly, you should contact your university’s Brand Ambassador explaining your situation. If you are able to correctly describe your items of clothing and we are able to find them, there is an option of returning them to you. Another option is we are able to use them in the Swap Shop and you are able to keep your credits for the next Swap Shop event as they will be carried over. The final option will be allowing a friend to enter the Swap Shop and pick up ‘new’ clothes with your written permission in an email – this also will require a picture of the original person’s ID or library card. We have tried to provide as many suitable options as possible for our customers.

For further information please check the government website.