Thrifting is like a treasure hunt, looking for that one rare piece of clothing at an affordable price. San Diego State brought that treasure hunt to campus with the third annual Swap Shop, an event presented by GreenFest.
GreenFest is a sub-committee of the Aztec Student Union Board. Every year since 2008, GreenFest has put together a special week of programs and events that promote sustainability, diversity and SDSU Pride, ending with a carnival and a special free concert at the Cal Coast Credit Union Amphitheater.
On April 7, SDSU students were invited to bring five gently used clothing items in exchange for five items they found at the Swap Shop in Montezuma Hall, all to promote slow fashion and reduce our environmental footprint. All kinds of clothes were available to attendees, with no restrictions on what students could bring in.
This event was created after a donor requested for SDSU to begin an on-campus thrift store, with prices on items all under $5. Swap Shop then came to be, but after a large influx in donations leftover, the event became strictly donation-based.
To control the amount of clothes collected at the end of the night, students were instructed to take back all their original clothes that other attendees did not pick up. When it came to the amount of good finds allowed to take home, students were given the honor system to only take home the same amount of clothes they brought in to donate.
The GreenFest committee partnered with the “F*** Fast Fashion” club on campus to spread awareness of the damaging effects in fast fashion. Large signs with facts on fast fashion lined up the back wall of Montezuma Hall, informing the public on how fast fashion is detrimental to the environment.
Fast fashion has become one of the highest polluting industries, with the mass production of the latest styles made of cheap fabric that spread toxins into soils and waterways. But there are ways to avoid the fast fashion industry, like H&M and Zara, without breaking your bank account.
Skylar Adair, 20, an SDSU film studies junior and Aztec Student Union Board (ASUB) programming assistant, is not a fan of fast fashion and she shared the ways she combats the industry.
“I really like thrift shops and supporting resale businesses, like my aunt has a vintage resale business that I like to go to,” Adair said.
For some students, fast fashion is more accessible and affordable than slow fashion.
Annie Swierczek, 21, an SDSU meetings and events senior and ASUB programming assistant, faces these conflicting thoughts and explained why she still participates in purchasing from fast fashion stores, despite her not agreeing with how they create their clothing.
“It’s tough because I don’t want to engage in fast fashion, but it’s so much more affordable than the slow way. Making this event free for the students is a way to help that. We can make slow fashion more accessible and not having to go on Depop and waiting two weeks for it to come in,” Swierczek said.
Thrifting and other pathways of slow fashion are not only more affordable at times than the original price, but also a chance to experiment with fashion and elevate your own style.
The Swap Shop shows students the thrill behind thrifting and finding a unique piece to add to their closets.
SDSU’s Associated Students and the GreenFest committee hope to continue the Swap Shop for future GreenFests to come.
For more information on GreenFest, visit their website here.