Clothing Swap Brings Sustainable Shopping To Campus

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Students drop off their donations at the check-in tent. Photo Credit: Britton Holmes
Students drop off their donations at the check-in tent. The Office of Sustainability hosts a bi-annual Clothing Swap for a unique way to “shop.” (Photo courtesy of Britton Holmes)

Instead of putting away winter clothes in preparation for the upcoming sweltering summer, the Office of Sustainability urged students to grab a few items from their wardrobe and bring them to the third bi-annual Clothing Swap. On April 16th, the Alumni Center hosted racks and tables of gently used men’s and women’s clothing that would be given to local organizations after students could choose an item for every two pieces they brought in.

Organized by students Kelsey Deporte and Isabelle Sui, the afternoon event emphasized the accessibility of the community and the opportunities to upcycle — something especially appealing to any college student dealing with a budget. The idea for the event started when Kelsey Deporte volunteered at the Carolina Green Fair for Re-Trend, a Charleston-based second chance clothing swap and fashion exchange. The organization — which coordinates clothing swaps throughout the Lowcountry — offered to share their clothing racks with Kelsey so she could bring the idea to campus for all students to be able to partake in this unique and affordable way to “shop.”

The swap, which went on from 4:00p.m. to 6:00p.m., was a success, as students milled around the hall perusing the racks for its entire duration. For the wearier shoppers needing an energy boost, boxes of pizza sat on a table for a mid-swapping snack while charming guitar melodies from John Sheehan and Connor Hollifield created an easy-going atmosphere. From t-shirts to dresses, jeans, shoes and hats, the left-over treasures were sent to My Sister’s House, the YWCA, East Cooper Community Outreach and Florence Crittenton.

Kelsey Deporte, an active and eager participant in all things sustainable, and Isabelle Sui, who has an interest in fashion and a knack for event planning, coordinated another noteworthy event for the Office of Sustainability that helped both the student body and the greater Charleston community.

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