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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Loving Monkee Genes Ethical Jeans and Chinos

I’ve known of Monkee Genes for a long time, but I’ve only just got a pair myself. I could see they were offering a great product – organic and ethical jeans, but I had the common internet shopping dilemma, ordering something online which I hadn’t tried on. Jeans are notoriously hard to shop for as we all know and if I’m spending £60+ I want them to be perfect without faffing around with exchanges.

Anyway, I was very lucky to pick up these chinos at the Shoreditch Swish (Monkee Genes had donated them) and they are lush! I also tried on their skinny jeans which were equally a perfect fit. The chinos have a lovely organic sateen finish and are a joy to wear.

You can find out more about Monkee Genes ethical credentials online, but I just wanted to share with you what a great product they really have. So if like me you had yet to get around to ordering some one-of-a-kind eco jeans, do it now!

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Ecover Shoreditch Swish

Swishing at Shoreditch House


I was lucky enough to be invited to the exclusive Ecover Shoreditch Swish at Shoreditch House on Monday. Hosted by ethical fashion designer Ada Zanditon and GMTV stylist Mark Heyes, the event involved three of my favourite things – shopping, champagne and chatting to like minded people. If you aren’t aware of the phenomenon of swishing, it is simply a clothes swapping party. I went along with a bag full of pre-loved clothes and accessories to donate and in return received tokens to ‘spend’ on other people’s pre-loved clothes. As a bonus at this particular swish very generous brands had donated new clothes to the event, so along with some nearly new Office heels and a vintage jacket, I left with some brand new Monkee Genes and gorgeous bodycon black ASOS dress. What’s more, celebrities including the likes of Lorraine Kelly and Caggie Dunlop donated clothing from their own wardrobes to the event.

Swishing is fun and free, it allows you to swap clothes you don’t wear for clothes you will wear. Why not organise your own swishing event?

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