Thrift Swap Shop


Our action project was influenced by the workshop “Clothing 4 Climate” at the Climate Action Youth Forum in Winnipeg in the Fall of 2022. A small but mighty group of students decided to organize a “Thrift Swap Shop” and educate their school on the lifecycle of clothing and fast fashion. Our vision was to shift to thrift with clothing and reuse previously loved items in the closet. We also wanted people to think deeply about purchasing new clothing items and their impact on climate change.


The Green Team, consisting of four grade 7 and 8 students, researched fashion and presented it to all students in grades 3 to 8. The presentation included details about the secrets behind our clothes, what fast fashion is, where our clothes end up, what are clothes are made of, what we can do to change our shopping habits and information on the clothing swap. Prizes such as stasher lunch bags and reusable straws and cutlery sets were given away for answering questions about the presentations correctly.

Clothing, including accessories and outdoor wear, was collected for about a month. They were separated into kids and teen/adult categories according to size and style. We wanted to promote inclusivity, so everyBODY was welcome, and clothes were not categorized by gender.

Because the fashion industry produces almost 10% of global carbon emissions, The Green Team wanted to educate and promote the thrifting, or upcycling, of clothing. Since young children grow quickly and styles of fashion are constantly changing, a need for sharing and enjoying previously loved clothing is needed.

Reflection & Celebration

We had 73 members of the community show up to the shop and over 1,100 items donated. 412 items were “sold” (it was all free) from the store, which was 37% of the store!

Upon reflection, the Green Team felt success with the organization of the event and presentation, the amount of time committed (mostly during school hours) and the amount of items collected. We wished that more clothing was taken from the shop and more people came out. In the future, we would utilize social media to promote the event and create posters to distribute around the community. You need more time than you think! People donated lots of items in our final week, so we were constantly sorting and organizing. If you want to create an event similar, make sure to give yourself lots of time to sort and start collecting early.

3. Good Health and Well-Being
10. Reduced Inequalities
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action
15. Life on Land
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