Sustainable Clothes Swishing

By SDRN on 14th February 2013

LOCATION: UK-wide.

AIM: The concept of ‘swishing parties’ is to reduce waste through swapping unwanted clothes for those unwanted by other women, rather than throwing them out.

BACKGROUND: Every year in the UK, about two million tonnes of clothing are purchased and around one million tonnes of unwanted clothing is thrown out, 50% of which ends up in landfill. Furthermore, the current system in which 90% of UK clothing is imported leaves a “colossal footprint,” particularly in developing countries. However, around 7,000 women in the UK swap 25,000 items through clothes swapping parties annually. According to the PR agency, Futerra, 0.4 kg of CO2 is saved for every item of clothing that is re-used rather than bought new (see report sourced below). Lucy Shea, CEO of Futerra,suggests swishing has divertedover 202,800 kg of clothes from landfill.

ACTIVITIES: Swishing is an opportunity for women to swap (for free) their unwanted clothes for other women’s clothes and shoes. Everybody is asked to bring along clothes they are proud to give away. The idea is that women will take the same number of items away from the party as the number they bring with them, potentially reducing the inclination to purchase new clothing items from stores or online. It is hoped that reducing textile waste through fun and sociable initiatives such as these could help reduce the UK’s carbon footprint whilst also raising environmental awareness.

SOURCES:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/green-living-blog/2012/feb/20/clothes-swishing-parties

http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/files/pb13461-clothing-actionplan-110518.pdf

http://fashioninganethicalindustry.org/!file/Well+dressed.pdf/