By: Paulina Prazmo
Who doesn’t like the idea of cheap clothes? How about the idea of trading in your used clothes and getting more clothes in return. That is exactly what Threadwork McMaster believes in. Using and reusing clothes in a sustainable matter is the motto that this group lives by. They focus on reducing waste and support the use of materials that are earth-friendly.
This OPIRG working group was founded in 2010 by a group of Mac students. Threadwork encourages other Mac students to “think critically about clothing and its implications on the environment, social justice, and the community.” Their latest project is the 5th annual clothing swap that will be taking place on Thursday, October 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the MUSC atrium. They will be collecting your used clothes on October 18, 19, 22, 23 and 24 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
A member from the group, Christina Vietinghoff said, “The main purpose of the swap is to give the McMaster community a chance to refresh their wardrobe for free without creating waste. A lot of second hand stores in Hamilton are not very accessible to McMaster students – so we’re bringing the thrift store here!”
So how does this process really work? How do you get those free clothes you want? Bring in your old used clothes on the collecting days and in turn you will accumulate points that you will be able to spend on the actual clothing swap day. Threadwork will be accepting only clean, un-torn clothes, no undergarments or socks will be accepted. They are asking to wash your clothes before you drop them off, and are also accepting jewellery, accessories, shoes, bags and coats. Changerooms will be provided on the day of the swap to try on those newfound-free-treasures!
Vietinghoff said, “Our Threadwork clothing swaps promote reusing clothing and reducing waste. Our clothing swaps engage students and the McMaster community in changing the perception of second hand clothing and celebrating re-using and finding value in it. We plan to have an ‘Alteration Station’ to promote renewing clothing rather than contributing to waste at the upcoming swap.”
Shopping for second-hand clothes might not necessarily be your style, but if you think of the money you could be saving for a Friday night instead of that must-have bag, it suddenly starts making sense! Alice Cavanagh, another member of Threadwork added, “Despite the recent ‘trendiness’ of shopping second-hand, I’ve noticed that buying used clothing has a real stigma for a lot of people. At our swaps, we get participants who don’t usually shop vintage or at Value Village. I really like the idea that our events make people feel more comfortable with the idea of wearing used clothing.”
In addition to Vietinghoff and Cavanagh, Clothing Swap’s organizers include Isabelle Dobronyi, Sophie Roher, Alexandra Epp and Ariel Bader-Shamai.
So if you have some old clothes just sitting around in your closet, and want to be a part of something unique, mark your calendars and don’t forget: B.Y.O.C. (Bring Your Old Clothes).