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This weekend was clothes swapping day here

Monday, October 12, 2020

A few days ago I was at something called “klädbytardagen” here in Sweden where I live. I don’t know if there’s a generally used English name for it, but it translates to something like “clothes swapping day”.

The concept is pretty simple, instead of buying new clothes you swap clothes with each other.

For every piece of clothing you give away you get a ticket, the ticket can then be traded with another item there. There’s usually a maximum amount of items you can give away and at today’s event it was 10 items each. Everything that doesn’t get a new home goes usually to either charity or to a secondhand store.

I had a lot of fun and I ended up with a bunch of good kids clothes which was nice. I do wish that more guys would attend these kinds of events. It’s usually uncommon to see guys and that makes it rather difficult to find anything for myself and other guys. It’s a lot easier to find clothes for women and kids.

I think this is a great way of updating and refreshing your wardrobe without it costing you any money and more importantly; it’s not impacting the planet with any additional carbon dioxide.

If you didn’t know, the fashion industry’s carbon impact is bigger than the airline industry’s carbon impact. According to the same source Quantis the total greenhouse gas emissions related to textiles production creates around 1.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually.

In a report from Naturvårdsverket (the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency), the average Swede buys about 14 kilos of clothes and textiles per year and only two thirds of those clothes are being used. And it gets worse; we also throw away about 8 kilos of clothes and textiles per person and per year here in Sweden.

Most of those clothes are perfectly fine and could have come to good use for a lot of people, especially for those who’s not fortunate enough to afford new clothes.

The bad thing with wealthy countries is that they have too much money to spend on things they don’t really need to begin with. Swedes is especially good at overconsumption junk we don’t really need. And for some reason a lot of us seems to think that it’s okay to do a lot of shopping as long as you give away your old items to second hand.

This has resulted in the second hand stores here being crammed full of perfectly fine clothes (and other items), but most people don’t even visit the second hand stores to begin with. Perhaps it’s still taboo to buy used clothes for some? Who knows.

What we need to do is to buy way less new stuff and way more of the used and perfectly fine things out there. We need to start to think about tomorrow and what future that lays ahead of us if we continue down the unsustainable path we’re currently on.


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