Words, photos and video production by Jenni Mazaraki
Clothes swaps encourage conscious clothing choices, bringing women together from the local community at a time when fashion is considered disposable.
Anna Lee set herself a challenge and went an entire year without buying any new clothes. ‘I was just looking at all the consumerism of buying new things each season,’ said Anna. ‘As a financial challenge to myself and also as an environmental challenge, I just thought that I would go a year without buying new clothes.’ During her year of shopping differently, Anna went op shopping and attended her first clothes swap.
Now as Coordinator of Greenhills Neighbourhood House, Anna was inspired to start a clothes swap for women in the local community.
Clothes swaps are social, fun and an inexpensive way to fill your wardrobe.
‘It’s a fun way to go shopping in other people’s wardrobes,’ said Anna.
Anna said that your style doesn’t need to be dictated by the latest season’s fashion. You can create your own style. Not only is the concept behind the clothes swap about saving money, it’s also good for the environment, keeping unwanted clothes from landfill. In 2013, The Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia found that Australians threw $500 million of fashion and textile waste into landfill.
Fashion is seen as disposable now more than ever before and events such as the clothes swap encourages thoughtful clothing choices. A 2015 study surveying 2000 women showed that women are wearing their new clothing purchases seven times before disposing of them.
Anna said that the message of the Greenhills clothes swap is simple.
‘Community happens anywhere. We all need food, we all need clothes and we all need friends, so all of those things will be here on the day.’
The next clothes swap is on Saturday 27 August 1.30 to 3.00pm. For $5 entry, you can swap 10 items of good quality. This includes clothes, scarves, shoes, hand bags and accessories for women. Any items that you bring to swap should be in a condition that you would be happy to give to a friend.
Greenhills Neighbourhood House is a not for profit organisation which runs a range of programs to meet the needs of the local Greensborough community.
Clothes can be dropped off at Greenhills in Community Drive, Greensborough prior to Saturday 27 August or brought on the day. All ages and sizes are encouraged to attend.
For bookings and further information please contact Greenhills Neighbourhood House on 9435 9287. http://www.greenhillsnc.org.au
(Please note that Jenni works at Greenhills Neighbourhood House as Project Officer/Communications.)