University of Southampton Clothing Swap Shop

A few months ago I was approached about getting involved in an exciting event – the University of Southampton‘s first official clothes swap! The event was spearheaded by Green Academy Programme Assistant Julia Kendal and a team of students who were already involved in the student’s union or environmental/ethical organisations. It was great that I could be involved too, as at the time we started planning I had just been thinking about ways to share consumer items on campus, like a campus-only arm of Freecycle, which I still think is a great idea but haven’t time to do. The Swap Shop was held on 14th March and was a great success. There was always the worry we wouldn’t have enough people through the door and enough clothes but 81 people donated items.

You can read more about the Swap Shop on the Oxfam Fashion Blog, but I just wanted to share some more pictures. We’ll be running it again!

Swap shopping!

Swap shopping!

I ran a powerpoint presentation in the background on ethical fashion

I ran a powerpoint presentation in the background on ethical fashion

Fitted with mirrors and changing rooms . . .

Fitted with mirrors and changing rooms . . .

and we had men's

and we had men’s

My lovely friend Tasha took a day off work to volunteer!

My lovely friend Tasha took a day off work to volunteer!

The Soton Swap Shop team

The Soton Swap Shop team

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Southampton University Clothes Swap #SotonSwap

I was really excited when I was asked to get involved with the very first campus –wide clothes swishing event at the University of Southampton. Following on from last year’s successful Soton Blackout comes the Soton Swap Shop, or #sotonswap, an initiative from the University of Southampton’s Green Academy team.

Swap Shop Stall

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how a clothes swap works, but involving all staff and students, this particular one is going to be BIG (we hope). It is being held in the Student Union on Thursday 14th March. People will be able to drop off their unwanted clothes and accessories (men’s, women’s, kid’s and fancy dress) during the morning in exchange for tokens, and come back in the afternoon to swap! The Swap Shop will be open for sales for the last hour, for those who want super cheap clothes but don’t have anything to swap.

Swap Shop Stand

As part of Ethics Week today we had a stall at the entrance to the SU with lots going on. Passers-by could:
• Sign up to receive email updates on the Swap Shop
• Calculate their slavery footprint (do it for yourself at http://slaveryfootprint.org/)
• Find out the background of how fashion favourites were made – my leather shoes, sequin skirt and distressed-effect jeans)
• Pick up a flyer for the Ethical Fashion Futures conference.

With thousands of students and staff on campus every day, it makes sense to run such an event to let us swap clothes in a free and sustainable way. Will it be a success? I’m sure it will, and if it is perhaps other Universities can roll out something similar across their institutions.

*Photos were taken on my phone so aren’t great quality

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