The Worn Again Clothing Swap took place on December 8 in the Gould Auditorium of the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah. This event was part of a sustainable design practice class, as taught by graphic design professor Carol Sogard.
Sogard stated that the aim of this course was to “discover the ways in which they [students] can use their design skills to make an impact on the world. Students in Sogard’s class were tasked with designing an event that played on the idea of sustainability while incorporating elements of graphic design.
The used up again The exchange event first took place in 2019 and is expected to be held annually from now on.
U students have been invited to donate unworn and unworn clothing to the collection bins scattered around campus since early November. Specialty items such as winter clothing and coats were in great demand to help students and those in need stay warm this winter.
Clothing donations were also accepted at the event, where a volunteer restocked the shelves as often as clothing was received. In the spirit of the end of the year celebrations, a small food drive was also organized with the clothes.
Neil Sodja, Deana Melchior, Jasmin Nguyen, and Derek Gardiner are all seniors in U’s Graphic Design program who worked together to make this project happen. Gardiner said they were inspired to jumpstart this event by their lessons on quick fashion in the classroom. “We were studying fast fashion and its impact on the environment, third world countries and the workers in those countries,” Gardiner said. “The event is supposed to raise awareness about fast fashion and its impact on the environment.”
In addition to the physical event, there were exhibits around the library featuring statistics on the effects of fast fashion and how students can be more attentive to what they are wearing. Practices like buying and donating at thrift stores, reusing old clothes, and buying slower fashion items were advertised in their library displays, Instagram page, and slideshow.
The exchange was open to all students, faculty and staff of the U, who scoured the shelves to check out what clothes to take home, while an informational slide show on how to tackle fast fashion played in the background. A student who asked to remain anonymous said she came to the event because of the allure of the free clothes. “It was something I couldn’t pass up,” she said. She also said she found it easy to give her old clothes in the trash as it saved her a trip to the thrift store.
“We have a few different charities that we will be working with after the event, and the remaining clothes will be donated to those charities,” Sogard said. In addition, the food collected will be donated to a local food bank.
Gardiner said there were easily over 300 students who attended the event.
In order to be more sustainable, Gardiner said to research the brands from which it is considered to buy. “I’ll say you don’t necessarily have to stop buying from brands that are part of the fast fashion trend, but do your research and sort of know which brands [you] argue, ”Gardiner said.