Sabrina Verby, MSc student in International Development: Globalisation, Trade and Industry hosted a clothes swap at The University of Manchester, on behalf of the School of Environment, Education and Development’s Social Responsibility Catalyst Fund and Climate Justice Fortnight.
Her motivation for this was to raise awareness that we can exchange goods and services in an alternative way to the contemporary market system. The fast fashion industry demands clothes to be made as cheap as possible, allowing consumers to constantly purchase new items at cheap prices. Yet, reducing costs results in the exploitation of millions of garment workers across Asia. Individuals are stuck in precarious working conditions, on low wages, often with no formal contracts. By participating in a clothes swap you are reducing high street demand for fast fashion and sending signals to multinational corporations to change the way they produce clothing. In addition, you are contributing to less landfill pollution from clothes. The UK alone produces 350,000 tonnes of used but still wearable clothing each year, having detrimental effects on our environment. The perfect solution is exchanging unwanted clothes at a clothes swap or donating them to a charity. All the remaining clothes today were donated to Women Asylum Seekers, on behalf of The Refugees and Asylum Seekers Conservation Club.