Swap Your Clothes and Do Your Bit for the Environment!

Swap Your Clothes and Do Your Bit for the Environment!

Student Union                                                           Photo Credit: Laura Canning

Strathclyde Food Sharing Society hosted the event Swapit last week as part of #Pass it on Week which aims to reduce mass-produced fast fashion.

The society holds frequent swap-shops which provide students and the wider community a chance to make a difference by swapping clothes.

The societies fridge coordinator Elena Pascal said: “The idea of clothes swapping is to provide a positive solution for recycling.”

Student and society member Philippa Betts said: “Another reason for running the Swapit event, is the community aspect it brings to the university and gives a space where people can come together.”

“The recycling aspect is a big part for the society and for people who attend Swapit as they might not have recycling much thought. It’s a good way to raise awareness.” Betts added.

Swapit Event                                                                Photo Credit: Laura Canning

The term fast fashion describes the speed production of garments and prioritises low costs when creating new clothing collections which are inspired by catwalk looks or celebrity styles.

7,950 UK volunteers participated in Zero Waste Scotland’s consumer behaviour survey. The report concluded that the average British person owns around £4,000 worth of clothes. The study also found that around 30% of wardrobe contents are never worn due to them no longer fitting.

Further findings from Zero Waste found that the UK could save £3billion per year on the cost of manufacturing and cleaning clothes if we change the way we use and dispose of our clothes.

Swapit Event                                                                Photo Credit: Laura Canning

The production of garments in quick succession results in commercial pressure to reduce costs at every turn. The time from the design stage to a garment appearing on the shop floor is minimal which can mean environmental factors are overlooked.

Pascal said: “There is only one way to explain why Strathclyde Food Sharing society is doing this Swapit event and that is to reduce unnecessary waste. People throw a lot of good clothing away which shouldn’t be happening.”

She continued: “Swapit, it is very much a counter to the idea that clothing is only meant to be worn for one season. We want to reinforce the idea to students that fast fashion is not the only way to wear their clothes.”

Pascal added: “Many of the dyes, prints and fabric finishing touches involved in fast fashion require the use of toxic chemicals which impact on clean water sources.”

“Recycling clothing and giving them the long lifespan they deserve really will help reduce environmental pollution and the clogging of landfill sites.”- Philippa Betts


Strath Food Sharing society provides services from book swapping to donating a community fridge for students. They also collect and hand out food in local communities in an effort to reduce food waste and help bring about change for the environment.

#Pass it on Week is Scotland’s annual celebration of re-use and recycling, it runs between 10-18 March.

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