Clothing swaps are one of the easiest ways to encourage an ethical fashion consumption in everyone: all it requires is clothes, people, and a passion for sustainability. Carrying that same passion in hand, Fashion Marketing students including Naomi Tanner, Jessica Manczal, and Brigette Giordano, organised the 2019 Clothes Swap to commemorate National Swap Day and promote exciting ways to share fashion with each other.
Students and staff donated their undamaged but unwanted goodies for a chance to find that item they’ve always been searching for, and stylist Simone Thorpe from Style With Soul dropped by to give some handy tips on how to maintain an eco-friendly wardrobe (did you know sticking jeans in the freezer actually works?).
Student Naomi Tanner pointed out that events like these are great opportunities to gain career-relevant experiences.
“It’s an exciting time for us to develop our skills and have some extra responsibility around here, which is what I love,” she shared. “It’s good to think about how you’re strategically placing things, operations, merchandising, and at the end of the day, it’s a bit of fun.”
Student organisers transformed Wellington St campus' Atrium into a glittering shop with styled clothing racks, as a DJ spun disco tracks to get people swapping. Jessica Manczal, who also helped set up 2018's Clothes Swap, thinks she will take these skills into the future.
“I’ve learned organisation, time management, and more from these experiences, and I think both the course and the swap will help me run other events in the fashion industry once I graduate," she said.
Brigette Giordano also mentioned that aside from the event management, there was a valuable lesson about sustainability to be learned in the process as well.
"Thrift shopping, op shopping, and reusing old clothing is really important, and you should always continue to do it. So I think this is a really good opportunity to showcase that importance of reusing and recycling."
Ultimately, while clothes swaps are a great way to give your clothes a second life, they are crucial to discovering new ways to share resources within communities, and Fashion Marketing Coordinator Dr. Anna Hickey said this is especially important when society tends to steer away from swapping clothes in adulthood.
"It actually makes a lot of sense: part of why we wear fashion is because we want something new and exciting, and it’s not about wearing it out till its completely threadbare," she said.
"If that’s the goal of fashion, why wouldn’t we share between ourselves and always share our resources? That's why easy and accessible events like these are great to get people inspired to swap amongst themselves."