Our vision is that the citizens of Hampton and surrounding areas understand the environmental impact of the clothing industry, and specifically the fast fashion industry. We hope that people will choose to “Swap, not shop” when they are purchasing clothes. We hope to remove the stigma sometimes associated with buying second hand clothes and instead of throwing clothes out that will go to a landfill, swap their clothing with other people or bring them to consignment store.
We organized a clothing drive in the school, asking homeroom teachers to collect second hand clothing from their students and homerooms competed with each other to bring in the most items of clothing. For every five items a student brought in, their name was put into a draw for a sustainable product (ex. a metal straw). Clothing was also donated by community members in Hampton and there was a drop off spot in Saint John as well. Once all the clothing was collected, we sorted the clothing by style, size, etc. over a period of two weeks. The clothing swap event, which we called “Swap, don’t Shop” took place in the cafeteria of the school and the afternoon of the swap, students organized all the clothing. The local food basket gave us hangers to use and we hung the clothing around the cafeteria and arranged them on the cafeteria tables. We also sold tickets for a draw for a few donated items that were more valuable and we had posters around the cafeteria with information about the clothing industry. We also played the movie “Blue River” in the lobby for people to watch. A student played music in the lobby and we had some snacks and drinks for people who brought their own mug (we provided some mugs for people who didn’t read about the bring your own mug event. After the swap, we bagged up the remaining clothes and arranged for it to be picked up by a truck from Community Living and the proceeds from the swap were donated to Romero House, Outflow Ministries and Coverdale House.
Reflection & Celebration
There was a lot to celebrate!! We collected 120 garbage bags full of used clothing and at the end of the night, we had only 42 bags of clothing left over. We raised $450.00 at the event and we were able to donate $400 was donated to Outflow Ministries, $50.00 to Coverdale House and $50 to Romero House in Saint John. People were made aware of the impact of the fast fashion industry.
People saved a lot of money on clothing and we reduced the amount of clothing that would have gone to landfills. Students learned a lot about organizing an event and the amount of work that goes into an event of this size. We had over 200 people attend the event and it was so amazing to see the community come together for such a worthwhile cause.