Drop and Shop at the Clothing Swap


Image via Rachel Lorenz

Aimee Drury, president of the Sustainability Club, invites you to the Clothing Swap in the Student Lounge on Oct. 17-19, 2017.

The Fall Clothing Swap at ACC begins Tuesday, Oct. 17 and runs until Thursday, Oct. 19. Bring clothes you’d like to donate to this ever-popular event. Or stop by to find a few new-to-you items to take home for yourself.

Better yet – do both.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. all three days in the Student Lounge on the second floor of the Main Building on the Littleton campus.

In addition to casual clothes, there is usually a nice selection of professional attire, children’s outfits and accessories.

The swap rules are simple: there is no set number of items you must bring in or limits on what you can take home. While everyone is encouraged to donate, it is not a requirement.

“The Clothing Swap is important as a way for clothing to be recycled instead of thrown away,” says Lori Tigner, faculty advisor of ACC’s Sustainability Club.

“[Americans] go through clothing so quickly because fashion changes so quickly,” says Aimee Drury, president of the Sustainability Club. Drury is giving her definition of fast fashion. “It is a huge habit of a lot of people to purchase brand-new clothing, wear it a couple of times, and then discard it.”

New clothing styles are brought from designers’ ideas through the manufacturing process and into retail stores. Due to changes in the production system and improvements in technology, the process can happen much more swiftly now than it did just a few decades ago. “Fast fashion” is the term used to describe this approach to getting trends quickly and inexpensively to market.

The result is an increase in the accumulation of clothing and, eventually, its disposal. Americans now consume five times as much clothing as they did in 1980. According to the EPA, over 16 million tons of textiles were generated in 2014. Of that, 64.5% went into landfills.

Every new outfit purchased drives the industry to put more resources into creating more clothing. A clothing swap, however, is one method for getting a new look without using new resources. Based on the longevity of ACC’s Clothing Swap – this is its seventh year – swapping is a popular method.

Image via Rachel Lorenz
“Fairy Tale” eggplants grow in ACC’s Community Garden Friday September 22, 2017. The garden is coordinated by the Sustainability Club.

The Clothing Swap is just one of the activities run by the Sustainability Club. In addition to holding clothing swaps twice a year, the club runs ACC’s community garden and holds a yearly Sustainability Symposium as well.

The club’s first symposium was held last spring. This free event included lunch and speakers on emergency preparedness, organic gardening, local food and alternative energy for residential housing. Next year’s symposium is scheduled for the third week of February and is shaping up to be even larger than the first one.

Right now, however, donations of wearable items in good condition are being collected. Drop off clothing and accessories that you no longer need at the Student Engagement Center. Items can also be brought directly to the swap on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Any items not taken by the end of the swap will be donated to organizations such as Goodwill.

The Sustainability Club meets every Tuesday at 2:45 p.m. in room M4850 and welcomes new members.