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The University of Southampton
Sustainability Action

Swap Shop

Twice a year, Sustainability Action and SUSU provide the opportunity for staff and students to exchange their unwanted clothes for new items at the popular Southampton Swap Shop.

By providing students and staff with the opportunity to swap unwanted clothes, DVDs and books, Swap Shop aims to:

Donations and swappers
Donations galore

The first ever Swap Shop was held on the 14th March 2013, with 156 people attending to donate their old clothes, shoes and accessories, and to swap them for new ones. People with nothing to swap could buy items for £1 or less. Whilst fundraising was not the goal of the event, we still managed to raise nearly £40 which was all donated to RAG.

The re-use ethos was taken to how we ran the event; by borrowing mirrors from SUSU Performing Arts and working creatively with SUSU to create a shap complete with changing rooms we spent just £5 on the whole event.

How does it work?
Donated items (which must be clean and wearable) are dropped off in the Students' Union in the morning and sorted out by a team of volunteers in the Cube. You can donate clothes, shoes and accessories for:

I was swapped at #sotonswap
I was swapped at #sotonswap

For each donation you are given a token (up to a maximum of 10), which you can exchange in the afternoon for new items. If you don't have anything to donate, you can buy items in the last hour - just £1.00 for clothes and shoes, and £0.50 for accessories. All money goes to RAG.

Why are we doing it?
Every year the UK consumes 2.16 million tonnes of clothing and spends approximately £38.4 billion. Oxfam estimate around 2.4 billion items of clothing are sitting in our wardrobes unused and unloved.* Almost 10,000 items of clothing go to landfill every five minutes, and an estimated 1 billion items of clothing a year are sent to landfill - that's over 500,000 tonnes of clothes.** By reusing old clothes, we are reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and highlighting the importance of considering how and where our clothes are made.

*Source: ClothesAid

**Source: Marks and Spencers


Find out when the next Swap Shop and other student-staff events are taking place.

Read about previous Swap Shops on the Sustainability Action Blog .

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