On Monday, December 5th, the Bay Area Restorative Ecology Club (BARE) hosted their second ever clothing swap in the Student Center at Lunch. With fourteen garbage bags full of donations, the ecology club successfully facilitated a sustainable clothing cycle at Tech in which one student’s trash became another student’s treasure at no cost.
Once the bell rang at the beginning of lunch, the calm Student Center turned into a frenzy. Students swarmed around tables, filling their arms and bags to the brim with any piece of clothing that caught their eye. Unlike last spring’s clothing swap, in which there was a limit of how many items each student could take with larger amounts awarded to students who donated, this year BARE set no rules so that as many clothes as desired by students could be taken. BARE was delighted by the amount and quality of donations received. Trendy brands like Carharrt and Juicy Couture were given, with a wide variety of styles and sizes in all types of garments.
As I watched the event unfold last Monday, it was especially exciting to see clothes that I donated be in the hands of other students. Rather than collecting dust in my closet, my clothes will now actually be worn by students who will style them in ways I would not have thought of, giving these formerly unused clothes new life.
Wearing second hand clothes is an effective way to have a more sustainable lifestyle while being unique and stylish. The fashion industry contributes to 10% of global carbon emissions, and more than half of textiles thrown away end up in landfills. If we are to successfully combat climate change, we must utilize products already produced instead of creating more unnecessary waste. BARE strives to spread this practice as we organize clothing swaps, creating opportunities for students to practice sustainable fashion and build community through the reuse of each other’s clothes. BARE hopes to organize another clothing swap in the spring. Make sure to follow @otbareclub on Instagram or join the Remind @otecology to stay up to date!