Swap your swatches: MPIRG Clothing Swap

Wardrobes can be tough to keep updated. Each year, new fashions flood stores, supplying options upon options of new styles. Keeping this in mind, it’s no wonder that one may find themselves tiring of the old selection of clothing that hangs in their closet. To help keep closets updated and bring awareness to the re-use and re-purposing of clothing, St. Kate’s Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG) is hosting a clothing swap.

MPIRG has hosted the swap since before 2012 through their task force Environmental Justice, and plans to continue it for the foreseeable future.

“Becoming a greener campus is a no-brainer, and it really starts with us. By repurposing clothing and other items, we begin to understand the value of the things we have,” EJ La Valle ‘15 said.

This year’s event will take place on November 11-13 in the second floor Atrium of the CdC. On the 11 and 13, it will be held from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m., and on the 12, it will go from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. The group is also tabling on Monday, November 10, so be sure to stop by to learn more.

The format of the swap will be kept traditional. Students are invited to bring clothes and swap them out for ‘new’ apparel. MPIRG also invites those who do not have any clothes that they wish to get rid of to stop by and pick up something for themselves. There is a twist to this year’s swap- it will be different than any other year because MPIRG is collaborating with one of The Reflective Woman (TRW) classes, and with the Fashion Association.

The newly introduced TRW class titled Climate Crisis/Reconnecting to the Earth engages students with environmental justice by discussing pertinent issues, researching and writing papers and engaging in outreach. As a part of the outreach portion of the class, one group within the class contacted MPIRG and is helping to plan and host the clothing swap event.

“I signed up for that class because I have always been passionate about environmental issues. I try to do everything I can to better conserve the Earth and its resources. I am passionate about volunteering as a way of giving back to the community, both here on campus and in St. Paul itself. In doing this project, I am a resource for change,” class member Brianna Dahedl ‘16 said.

The Fashion Association not only deals with style and trends, but also has an eye on the environment. For the past few years, many fashion students have been experimenting with clothing made from re-used items. This year, they held an Eco-Fashion Show titled “Sustainable Fashion for Everyone” at the Minnesota State Fair. At the clothing swap, the Fashion Association is displaying these Earth-friendly fashions and is answering questions about re-purposed clothing items.

“Our department is very dedicated to sustainability. In numerous classes, we discuss environmental and social justice issues, such as trade practices, workers’ rights, upcycling and sourcing local products. For my project, I made a skirt out of my mother’s old table cloth she bought in Italy. It was a great way for me to be creative and sustainable at the same time. Designers and merchandisers can make a significant impact through involvement in sustainability efforts in the industry,” Fashion Association board member Maria Koval ’15 said.

Helping the earth can be as simple as getting a recycled outfit. To learn more and to get involved with environmental justice issues, attend an MPIRG meeting, which take place at 4:45 p.m. every Monday in CdC 355. MPIRG can be contacted at mpirg@stkate.edu.

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