We did it! This multi neighbourhood/many month long clothing drive and swap project was a lot of work, but also a success by many measures. With only a few people involved in redistribution, we moved a literal ton of textile donations to places where they were needed or could be reused.
All the details and facts are summed up in the clothing swap page
Check out these #WIPSWAPFINDS - why would you buy anything new ever?
This was a lot of work, but with everything this past year, it was an experiment. We were motivated by a couple of things: we were asked to do two swaps, and we know that our clothing drives in the past have been very rich in donations and not in swappers, so we wanted to see if we could connect a few communities, and keep both donations and swap/shopping open to all participants. We finished with an open textile drive in partnership with the Hodgson PS eco club to divert textile waste and generate material for upcycling. A Bag2School drive in particular motivates people to give because they are encouraged to donate textiles in any condition, rather than throw them away. Bag2school does a great service- as it says on their website, 85% of textile waste ends up in landfills... so to curb this problem, they are a for-profit company who buys textiles by the ton, and then resells them to people who reuse, resell or recycle as much as they can. The issue is that their clients are overseas, and the market for these clothes is shrinking- with textiles, as with recycling and other waste, the world does not want our garbage. So looking forward, we need to find more local solutions, and this was an attempt to do that. We are proud to have kept half the donations here in Toronto to be used by front line social agencies, up-cycled through our projects or passed on through the next swap, and also happy that the Eco Club was able to make some money and divert the rest with Bag2SChool. See you in March!
art experiments turning waste into beauty