Reduce, reuse, rewear

EcoReps will be hosting a clothing swap on April 14. Graphic courtesy of Canva.


On April 14, the Butler University EcoReps will be hosting this semester’s clothing swap. EcoReps’ event will be held in the Irvington Community Room from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and students will be able to trade any unwanted clothes for other students’ well-loved clothing items. 

Students who donate a few articles of clothing will be able to select up to the same amount to add to their closets. Although there will be some articles set out before the event begins, students can bring clothes as they come. Hannah Howard, a sophomore environmental studies major and education chair of EcoReps, said the swap encourages students to acquire clothing sustainably and reduces the number of clothes bought through fast fashion

“A lot of time I think young people buy clothes that are not sustainable … the kind of stuff from SHEIN … they’re not good quality,” Howard said. “They don’t come from a good place where people are being paid properly.” 

Fast fashion is often tempting because it is inexpensive and makes it easy to keep up with the latest trends. Not only are these types of clothing not designed to last, but they usually do not decay in landfills, which is where most textile waste goes. The textile workers making fast fashion items are also drastically underpaid, many receiving only 2 to 6 cents for every piece of clothing and often working over 60 hours a week. Thrifting or swapping is a much more eco-friendly way to add new articles to one’s wardrobe because it reduces the amount of time, energy and wasted resources that are generally used in fast fashion. 

By being able to affordably and conveniently find new clothes, Howard said swapping helps reduce the amount of clothing that ends up in landfills. 

Lillie Michael, a junior middle secondary education major and president of EcoReps, said the idea for the clothing swap was sparked several years ago by another member of the club as a way to exchange clothes in a sustainable way without donating them. This is a better option than donating because it is a free and equal exchange. Since then, they have had two clothing swaps with the third approaching this weekend. 

“It’s just a great way to reuse in a sustainable way, [and] it also brings the Butler community together,” Michael said. 

Since the clothing swap is the club’s most popular event, Michael said clothes quickly come and go. The clothes are set up to mimic a department store where sorted sections allow people to easily browse and find items that match their fashion aesthetic. 

Most of the leftover clothes from the event that are not brought home by students are donated to Thrifty Threads, which is affiliated with the Julian Center, an organization that supports victims of domestic violence. Here, they can either be bought by anyone or given to domestic violence survivors for free. The club held onto traditionally masculine clothing from their last event so that they would have more male representation in their choices. 

Although the clothing is not new, this does not mean that these items are not worth bringing home. Anna Casey, a junior arts administration major, said she found the perfect pair of jeans at the last clothing swap that she wears weekly, as well as a few shirts and a cute tank top.

“It’s a really fun time,” Casey said. “I think a lot of people look forward to it every semester, at least I know I do.” 

In order to become more involved with eco-friendly habits, EcoReps hosts a variety of other events, such as their recent plarn activity, which is a method of reusing plastic bags by weaving them together as a type of yarn. 

Martha Clifford, a junior arts administration major and social media manager of EcoReps, said that the plastic bags they collected over the past few months were crocheted into sleeping mats with the intention of donating them to a local homeless shelter. 

“[Plarn making] was something that was really fun to see come to life,” Clifford said.

To find more eco-friendly activities to attend in the future, follow the EcoReps Instagram page where they share information about upcoming events. For those who want to become more involved in EcoReps as a whole, the club holds meetings that are open to all Butler students every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in JH 141.


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