Photos by Matty Flader / Photo Reporter
Last August, The Pale Blue Dot (240 James St. North) ran their first clothing swap. It turned into a huge success, with a lineup out their door. On Oct. 7, they will be running another one, this time at Grain & Grit brewery (11 Ewen Road). The Pale Blue Dot is a sustainable, eco-conscious store named after the 1990 photograph of the Earth taken from space. Mary Luciani, the owner of The Pale Blue Dot, emphasizes how important it is to be mindful of where and how we get our clothes.
“The reason we wanted to start it was because we wanted people to realize that there’s a different way to go about consuming clothing,” said Luciani.
The Pale Blue Dot strives to provide support for people trying to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
“I really wanted the space to be a community hub as well, that was one of my major goals, to make the Pale Blue Dot a place where people could come and ask their questions, learn about new ways that they could live a low waste lifestyle or a lifestyle with a low impact. More than just a little general store of earth friendly goods, I wanted to have different workshops and events going on in the space that showed people how they could make a difference,” said Luciani.
The clothing swaps initially began as the brainchild of Luciani and her friends Kayla Whitney, Pam Huffman, Monika Benkovich and Liz Enriquez. Together, they created Good Habit Events, a collective that organizes affordable and eco-conscious events and workshops.
“Through Good Habits, we reach out to different missions, different services, different locations in the city. We chat with them to see who’s in need,” said Luciani.
All clothing that is not swapped is donated to those who need it. Admission to the event is $5, and the money raised will go towards environmental initiatives in the community.
“We want to make sure those funds get allocated into projects that will benefit the city, and benefit the environment at the same time,” said Luciani.
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Our Clothing & Costume Swap with @grainandgritbeer is less than one week away! This week we’ll be accepting clothing drop-offs at Grain&Grit or The Pale Blue Dot from today (Tuesday, October 1st) until Sunday, October 6th during regular business hours. Please see all the drop-off deets below:⠀ ⠀ 👚 Bring your items to Grain&Grit or The Pale Blue Dot prior to the event, from October 1st through October 6th during regular business hours. Please do not bring your clothing on the day of or evening of the swap.⠀ ⠀ 👖 Please only donate wearable items. Refrain from donating ripped, broken items. ⠀ ⠀ 👔 You can donate: clothing, costumes, pyjamas, active wear, shoes, maternity clothing.⠀ ⠀ 👗 Please refrain from bringing the following: Opened/Used Cosmetics (lotions, etc.), branded t-shirts (ie. a t-shirt you received from volunteering, etc.), used socks, stained and/or ripped clothing⠀ ⠀ 👢When you bring your items in, we’ll give you one ticket for every item. Bring your tickets on the night of the clothing swap and use them as your currency. 1 item = 1 ticket!⠀ ⠀ 🗓 The Clothing & Costume Swap, in collaboration with Grain&Grit & Good Habit Events, is happening at Grain&Grit on Monday, October 7th from 6:30-8:30pm! $5.00 at the door💛 Photo: @raeconnell
This year the clothing swap will feature curated Halloween sections, with different costumes set up. There will also be regular clothes available, depending on what clothing is donated.
Participants can bring in their clothing to either Grain & Grit or The Pale Blue Dot from Oct. 1 to 6 ahead of the swap on Oct. 7 at Grain & Grit. Each item of clothing is worth one ticket, and one ticket can then be redeemed for a different item of clothing at the event. The full list of rules is available on the event page and on both of the brand’s websites.
The textile industry is a huge contributor to pollution. Environmental sustainability has become a major topic of discussion among Hamiltonians and the greater community. Those who are looking to combat climate change and help protect our pale blue dot can count on this event to be a first step towards building a better future.