It is amazing how much can be achieved by a small group of determined people. And a good poster- art makes it real. Witness the concept to execution above of the great swap poster by the great artist Treya Beaulieu.
We have done many swaps over the years, every one has an added challenge? refinement? tweak? Our goal with these swaps is literally to swap clothes around from where they are no longer needed to clothe a new person, avoiding waste and keeping clothes in use. We are not interested in handouts (though if it can help people in need, all the better) but rather in each of us helping each other. We all have something to give and we all benefit from asking for help.
This swap structure kept that philosophy all the way through. It sprang from a concept hashed out by Leah Sanchez and I (Tanya Murdoch) because we want to keep having swaps and community building events in spite of a pandemic that makes our usual setup impossible. Also, our children outgrew their back to school cords sometime during the longest March break ever.
It took a month, from concept to execution. We had support spreading the word from local Councillor Josh Matlow and trustee Shelley Laskin as well as the Davisville School council. With a little more time and when it is slightly less weird we will have institutional support from local churches and can tie in swap shopping with the local shelter, so we could have an adult swap as well- next time. Also, in my dream, more T-shirt bags and bunting and maybe locally made masks for sale as well. We want to support local artists and makers.
Here's how it works, if you want to reproduce (or get our help. We would love to partner and grow this idea)
Some suggestions for next time (we are thinking Earth Week 2021):
Final feedback from this first annual back-to-school neighbour to neighbour clothing swap:
art experiments turning waste into beauty