“Closet swap:” clothes traded in Student Union to encourage re-use

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February 2, 2009

Rashida Harmon

In these rough economic times, the word “free” is heard less frequently than ever. That’s why Mills women rushed to the Student Union last Wednesday, for the first annual Suzie’s Closet Swap. The event was sponsored by the Office of Student Activities, the Sustainability Center, Earth C.O.R.P.S. and Workers of Faith.

“It’s a good metaphor for renewable resources,” said Sophie Leininger, head of the Reuse Depot room in Reinhardt Hall. Leininger, along with other collaborators, saw the need for a campus “re-use” room when the free piles in the dorms began to overflow.

For dormitory inhabitants with disposable clothing items, every laundry room contains an “Everything Free” pile” Leininger and other collaborators decided to create one room in Reinhardt Hall dedicated to housing all the free piles in one.

It was here that “Closet Swap” was created.

“The problem was that those who didn’t live in the dorms didn’t have access to these free clothing boxes, and so they would just pile up.”

The clothing displayed included re-use free pile items, as well as pieces donated from students earlier that morning. The Swap itself was more like a free grab, in which anyone was welcomed to enter and take anything. For groups like Earth C.O.R.P.S., the event meant more than a simple mechanism for emptying out the school’s closet, it has a chance to promote awareness and sustainability. “If people like it, then we would be more than happy to continue this every year!” said Leininger.

Tables of neatly folded shirts, racks of sweaters, dresses, and other reusable items made the eventlook like a real industrial clothing swap.

Carmen Aiken, a Mills senior looking to pick up a few more items for her wardrobe said, “I’m a cheap, cheap woman. I’m actually starting my own business, Financial Panther, and it involves seeking out free events like this one. It’s the bohe-mian way.”

14 student volunteers from each sponsoring group were present. “The greatest part about being a volunteer is that you get first pick!” said Britta Bullard, coordinator of the Sustainably Center.

Bullard said that at the end of the event, all the clothing items would be donated to the Salvation Army.


“Closet swap:” clothes traded in Student Union to encourage re-use was published on February 2, 2009 in Arts & Entertainment

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