Environmental group holds clothing swap to benefit Halifax women’s shelter
January 27, 2020, 4:07 pm ASTLast Updated: January 27, 2020, 4:07 pm
A new non-profit focused on waste reduction hosted its first clothing swap and fundraiser on Sunday with proceeds going to a Halifax-based shelter for women and children.
Stop Trashing It is the brainchild of director Alexa Goodman, who founded the non-profit in January 2019. The weekend clothing swap event was in support of Adsum for Women and Children.
Goodman said Stop Trashing It aims to educate people on what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint.
“Our mission with Stop Trashing It is to turn awareness into action when it comes to our impact that we have on the earth,” she said in an interview.
Goodman said the organization focuses on one type of waste item at a time.
She said her waste reduction journey started with using reusable coffee cups. This time around, it’s focusing on clothing items, especially fast fashion.
“So, textile waste, we don’t often consider it. But a lot of clothes (do) get wasted, especially fast fashion,” she said.
Goodman said she has participated in clothing swaps in the past with friends, but never with people she hadn’t met.
“When you do it with strangers, you don’t know what you get, right? It’s more fun,” she said.
Jennifer Neilson, an ambassador for Stop Trashing It, was in charge of accepting monetary donations during the event.
“Adsum House is such a great organization, and we’re really happy to be able to get some clothing for them,” Neilson said.
Neilson said she has observed homelessness in Halifax firsthand and thinks it’s important to bring awareness to the issue.
People of all ages and backgrounds showed up for the Stop Trashing It event. Some were not aware there was a fundraiser underway, but donated money when they arrived.
Many who participated had smiles on their faces as they left with different, new-to-them clothing items. High school teacher Nicoline Hussey was one of them.
She said she knows people who have been affected by homelessness.
“There is a lot of homelessness even in young adolescents, teenagers and sometimes their families,” she said.
Fun and sustainable
Goodman said the idea behind the event was to create some fun by incorporating a fundraiser into a clothing swap.
“This is a great way to give life to clothes that you might not wear anymore. And it’s free,” she said.
Goodman believes many people know about environmental issues and the climate crisis and often feel helpless to do anything about it.
“These types of events that are focused around sustainability at the core but are still fun is a way of showing you that there is so much that we can do when we think outside the box and put a little bit of effort in,” Goodman said.
“People like new things, but it doesn’t have to come at the cost of the environment or at our wallet.”
She added that she was happy to both raise awareness for environmental issues, and funds for Adsum House.
“We recognize that we can’t fix the world on our own. We need to be working together as a community,” she explained.
Tasha Rabinowitz was one of the people who attended the event. She looked through some clothing items with her friends.
“I think it’s a really great way to diverge clothes from the landfill and to raise money for people who need it,” Rabinowitz said.
Nicole Robichaud also attended the clothing swap fundraiser. She said she often wears second-hand clothes and thought it would be great to exchange clothes for a cause she cares about.
“Seems like they’re doing a lot of great work for women in the city,” said Robichaud.
Goodman said they also asked that people bring pyjamas and children’s clothing for the people staying at Adsum House.
Dozens of clothing items were hung from racks or displayed on tables as people looked through them. After the event wrapped up, there were three grocery bags and a small box of clothing left.
Goodman said the remaining items would go to Adsum House.
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