Clothing Connection: encouraging a sharing economy

A poster from the Clothing Connection clothing swap that wrapped up semester 1.

A poster from the Clothing Connection clothing swap that wrapped up semester 1.

by Melanie C., HS student & GIN member

Mix, match, and mingle! Our GIN group ended semester 1 with one of our popular Clothing Swaps and, before we know it, it will be time to hold our semester 2 drive. Not only do these events divert a lot of material from landfill, but they give items of clothing a new lease on life and encourage a sharing economy at Concordia.

The Clothing Connection is a student-run project in the Global Issues Network club that focuses on initiating clothing swaps within the Concordia community. Clothes that have been forgotten in the closet are brought out to trade. The clothing swap attracts a large crowd to help recycle used articles of clothing. The project strives to put old, worn clothes to use and donates the remaining to various Shanghai-based charities. Concordians swap clothes, the ayis take clothes to their family members, and any leftover clothes are donated to a partner charity. We’ve been holding clothing swaps at Concordia for several years and the tradition is going strong.

The clothing swap at the end of semester 1 involved a lot of preparation and planning prior to the day of the big event. Members of the Clothing Connection group gathered every Tuesday morning to work towards the event. In the final days leading up to the big event, posters were printed and scattered across the school to raise awareness.

The clothing swap began as soon as school ended; members of the Clothing Connection started preparing half an hour prior to the exciting event. Everyone who came brought big bags to fill up with goods from the swap. In an interview with one of the many ayis who came, she said “This is a perfect opportunity for us to find pieces of clothing that the younger generation may dislike but we find perfect. This clothing swap has benefited us in multiple aspects. We are extremely thankful for this clothing swap.”

The clothing swap helped beyond the Concordia community and impacted the lives of those around us. Watch out for another clothing swap in the future!

An interview with two Concordia ayis about the benefits of the clothing swap and how it contributes to a broader sharing economy.

LeeAnne Lavender