San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Saving the planet, one A.S. Swap Shop at a time

Associated Students Green Love hosted their second clothing swap of the school year where students browsed, traded and donated gently used gear
Maren Hawkins
A student browses the racks of clothing at Associated Student’s “Swap Shop” event

Fast fashion — a mass-produced, cheaply made pieces of clothing — are rapidly pumped out to keep up with the undoubtedly changing trend cycles. Everyone knows it, most ostensibly hate it, but do people actually take pains to steer away from the quick and easily accessible shopping that is slowly devastating our planet?

Fortunately, with tremendous efforts by Associated Students Green Love, shopping sustainably was made more accessible than ever at the student Swap Shop on April 16. 

Students began trickling in with a sense of awe before the event even officially started. Although asked to bring clothes ahead of time in exchange for a voucher, most students showed up to the event with bags of clothes ready to donate and swap for new goodies of their own. 

The constant influx of new clothing being hung up on racks meant a unique browsing experience for each student. From accessories and beachy attire to masculine, oversized fits and rocking kicks, anyone was sure to find a serendipitous piece to spice up their look and promote their self-expression. 

One student’s trash is another’s holy grail, and this event sure had some treasures. 

“I came last year, and I thought I wasn’t going to find a bunch of good stuff, but I did, and it just made me come back this year,” Amber Frankel, a third-year marketing major, said.

For some, it wasn’t their first time shopping sustainably.

“I love thrifting, and I try to go against fast fashion,”  Nicole Swallow, a second-year civil engineering major, said. “I’m honestly shopping for my mom, for me (and) for my sister. It’s just a fun thing you can do and help out the planet. It’s way better to trade what you don’t want, and if there’s someone that likes it, they can give it a new life.”

Moreover, Katerina Hernandez, the current Green Love representative and newly elected A.S president, Antonella Giorgi, A.S. Sustainability commissioner and the entire Green Love team not only created a fun shopping experience but also executed the event in a way to promote sustainable living and provide much-needed education. 

“As much as this is a sustainability event, it’s also a charitable event, where you are learning how to give back, but you also get to take,” Hernandez said. “You’re learning a reciprocal relationship with the environment.”

By taking part in this event, students are pivoting away from the traditional model of a linear economy– a system where companies produce clothing not designed for longevity and are consequently discarded into the abundance of landfills. 

“You should be part of a circular economy,” Giorgi said. “You don’t have to live in the linear economy of buying and supporting fast-fashion, which is a huge problem nowadays. Just by coming in and grabbing something and leaving something you’re being part of the change.” 

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a circular economy is one that “keeps materials and products in circulation for as long as possible.” 

It strives to reduce material use, redesign products and materials to be less resource demanding, and recaptures “waste” to manufacture new products and materials. 

Hernandez, Giorgi and the Green Love team are urging students to stray away from the dangers of fast-fashion, and live a life full of sustainable practices. 

“It’s a lot more cost efficient to live this life– you buy cheap clothes from thrift stores, you learn how to use refillery stores where you bring in your own jar…and that ultimately saves you a lot more money,” Hernandez said.

As a low-income student, Hernandez wants people to know that they can live a sustainable life and still live in an affordable way. In fact, it is much cheaper to experiment with the sustainable route and take public transportation, shop at thrift stores and utilize zero-waste shops. 

The A.S. Swap Shop is just one of the many events Green Love puts on to support their mission towards sustainable practices on campus. Others include ‘Save Our Soil,’ ‘Carbon Neutrality & Climate Action’ and the annual SDSU Sustainability Summit. 

With all these events, Green Love’s goal is to ignite local change and alter students’ disposition to utilize our resources efficiently for our future generations to thrive. 

It’s not just about reducing, reusing and recycling. It’s about environmental responsibility, social justice, acting locally, progressing slowly and thinking about tomorrow. 

To learn more about Green Love and upcoming events, check out their website.