Updated: Nov 11, 2022
SwopItUp, the climate action charity by teens for teens organised a community clothes swop at Colliers Wood library on 11, 12 and 13 August. In the words of Zaqiya, the founder “the clothes swop we ran at Colliers Wood library went so well. I was so pleased with how many people came along and how many clothes got swopped. It was great talking with the students that came along and how much interest was garnered toward running swops in their schools and universities. Many attendees were eager to know when we were running our next swop which proves just how wanted these types of events are.
Over 55 people attended the Swop, having brought in 656 items of clothing. In total, 422 clothes were Swopped, saving more than 65kg of textile waste from landfill. We are very pleased with the response to the Swop, with many people having got in touch to ask about running a Swop in their schools and universities, or to ask when we are running another Swop”. Young people added atleast 20 hours of volunteering for this event.
Interestingly, at clothes swop events, more clothes are always brought in and left behind than are taken out! The organisers of swops often end up having to store the clothes until they can find other ways to redistribute them. With the Colliers Wood clothes swop, some of the remaining clothes went to textile recycling centres and some to homeless shelters with half of it still in storage. This trend tells us that while initiatives like swops reduce clothing waste, we still have a way to go as a society in changing the way we purchase, view and use clothes.