Friday March 13

Smart Fish Friday

Arrange a swapping party. Exchange clothes, DVDs, CDs, jewelry and bags so everyone gets something new without an extra trip.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19

Arrange a swapping party! Exchange clothes, DVDS, CDS, jewelry and bags.

When it comes to being environmentally friendly, buying new clothes isn’t exactly the kindest thing we can do for our planet. Every piece of new clothing (if not made sustainably) can be the product of countless chemicals, dyes,  all of which can be harmful to the earth, air, groundwater – as well as the people making the clothing. But clothes are something we all need and want and buying eco friendly or fair trade clothes is expensive.

Many of us buy second hand, but a fun idea is the clothing swap.

A clothing swap is, in its basic form, a meeting or party where people get together to swap clothing, accessories, and the like, all for the sake of getting rid of the stuff you won’t use – and giving it a new life with someone else – and then gaining some great new stuff for yourself, too.

Clothing swaps are gaining popularity these days for many reasons, the first reason being, of course, that you get to get together with a bunch of friends and family members and swap things and gain a whole new batch of gently-used stuff that’s now new-to-you. At a basic level, throwing a clothing swap helps save the world because it’s an opportunity for all those clothes to be given at least one more round of life. Good deed done in itself.

But if you think even further, clothing swaps are also an opportunity for those of the activist mind frame to spread some great information. Many of those you invite to a clothing swap might be in it more for the new sweater or scarf – and that’s great on its own, but think about how much you could help by taking your next clothing swap one step further!

You may want to consider asking for donations – or “charging” attendees a very small “charity fee” to attend the clothing swap with all proceeds going to a group that helps sweatshop and textile workers. If you choose this option, be sure to make the charity element prominent in the swap – so that attendees know the people they’re helping with their donation and the significance of this issue.

Then, as a parting gift to clothing swap attendees, consider a thank you note, either pre-printed or handwritten, explaining the impact that recycling and reusing clothing really has on our Earth’

By adding some of these next-step elements, you can take your next clothing swap from a really fun gathering where everyone gets some great new stuff to a truly impactful event that educates people about the true costs of their clothing. By spreading the message, you are taking a love of fashion to another level – one which breaks superficial barriers and makes your life so much more conscious – and can really have a meaningful effect when the message is spread.

If you’ve never held a clothing swap, you’ll find some great tips for setting up a clothing swap of your own

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How about organizing  for your Sunday School to arrange a swap party where they bring old toys and games they have grown out of . They can sell them for a few rand and raise money for an outing.

And finally have  you heard of the  Recycle Swap Shop ?  Children bring bags of recyclable goods which are weighed. For each kilo they get a voucher and then can go into the “shop” where there are donations of stationary, food or second hand toys.

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