Swap right

Published: Sep 04, 2019, 08:09 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

Looking to revamp your wardrobe? An event lets you exchange your garments for good-quality second-hand clothing while doing your bit for the environment

You are allowed to carry a maximum of 10 garments for exchange
You are allowed to carry a maximum of 10 garments for exchange

Although running out of clothes to wear might be a concern with a quick solution, running out of oxygen isn’t. As big brands continue to burn unsold merchandise, sustainable fashion isn’t just another trend; it is emerging as a necessity for the future. But being environmentally conscious doesn’t imply spending big money on eco-friendly fabric when you can’t afford it; simply increasing the shelf life of your existing garments makes you responsible enough.


This Saturday, an event titled Clothes Swap at Fort’s Ministry of New (MoN) lets you give the unused clothes in your wardrobe a second chance. The idea of swapping clothes with strangers isn’t new, but as Darshana Gajare, founder of Fairtrunk and head of communications for Fashion Revolution India (a global fashion transparency movement) — the two organisations hosting the event — informs, there’s a twist to this one. People can carry up to 10 garments for exchange and they are then placed for a quality check. A token is given for every garment that passes the check and can be used for exchange, but garments that don’t make the cut are segregated and donated to the NGO Seams for Dreams. "Even if you have spare tokens left, they can be used in our future editions. Plus, extra tokens can be purchased for R100 each. There is a Rs500 entry fee, but that is only to cover operational costs since we take the help of volunteers," Gajare says, adding that a trial room is also available.

She also highlights how, although they attract a diverse age group, the clothes-swapping movement is a slow one. "Our visitors range from first-timers to eco-warriors leading a zero-waste lifestyle. But we don’t have as much of a reach as the big brands because they have all the funds. Yet, we design such affairs to be like a retail experience — either through the positive vibe of MoN or simply the way the clothes are laid out — since many have a negative attitude towards second-hand clothing," Gajare explains.


A slow start

The history of clothes swapping can be traced back to the 1940s — when war led to rationing on all fronts. In 1942, The Make Do and Mend Scheme began in Britain as a solution for the outfitting of growing children and over 500 Children’s Clothing Exchanges were established in Britain in 1943. These exchanges functioned on a point-based barter system.

Sw-appy times

This for that (TFT), an app available on Play Store and App Store doesn’t just let you swap clothes but also accessories. After you sign up, every garment you upload for exchange is assigned a credit (1 credit = Re 1). After that, you can browse through clothes from other women’s closets without having to pay additional money.

On September 7, 3 pm to 7 pm; September 14, 2 pm to 6 pm
At Ministry of New, Azad Maidan, Fort; FAD International Academy, Pali Mala Road, Bandra West.
Log on to ministryofnew.in; blog.fairtrunk.com
Cost Rs500 (Entry)

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