Swap don’t shop: swapping clothes with the Sustainable Development Association

The Edinburgh University Sustainable Development Association (SDA) held a Clothes Swap on Saturday 26 January in Sofi’s Southside.

Non-executive committee member and Sustainable Development student, Freya Meadows-Robinson told The Student that this was the association’s first clothes swap initiative, citing the University of Edinburgh Sustainable Fashion Show as an inspiration for the event.

She said the society was, “very aware of the dangers of fast fashion, so we thought, let’s do a clothes swap. It’s a good way to get people involved and spread awareness of the issues of fast fashion, while also having fun.”

Responding to the question of whether they had had many donations, Meadows-Robinson replied, “we’ve had quite a few donations. A lot of people have felt it’s a good way to get rid of their clothes.”

When asked where clothes that did not get picked would go after the event, Meadows-Robinson said, “they’re all going to go to the charity shops, probably Shelter. We want to make sure that, if they are raising profits, then a charity is getting them.”

Of the support from the department for Sustainable Development, Meadows-Robinson said, “The staff all work really closely with us. In terms of promotion, there has been amazing support from them.” She also said that the SDA would definitely have another clothes swap event if this one was a success, stating that, “We like to have both social and academic events, and we think events like this are a really good crossover where we can make people aware of issues in a really fun environment.”

The event drew a crowd and the clothes continued to pile up, as people continued to donate once the event started. Some items still had price tags on them, and one person even brought all the items they were donating in a suitcase.

When asked what she would like people to know about the society she said, “we’re a very open society, we want to run it so members can do events. We’ll be having open meetings on Thursdays, so people should keep an eye out on our Facebook page for those.”

Meadows-Robinson noted an increase in interest in the society, even over the past few events. She highlighted an upcoming event called the Sustainable Action Forum March 9, which will be presented in cooperation with the University of St Andrews. She said, “this time we’re looking at circular economies and whether you can have green capitalism”.


Image: Bernadette Hogg

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