By Kelly Crawford
In early May, the Friday morning toddler music program at Concord Baptist Church transformed into a children’s clothes swap. Parents brought in their pre-loved but no-longer-needed clothes to swap for something new to them. The event also included a brief chat about ethical fashion from a member of the church’s Catalyst Group and the opportunity to take a copy of the 2018 Baptist World Aid Ethical Fashion Guide.
“It was fairly simple to run” said the event organiser. “We just informed the parents a few weeks beforehand through our newsletter and word-of-mouth. Everything that was brought in was sorted into sizes and parents took turns taking what they wanted. There was plenty left over and all of that was donated to a local charity.”
“We did have a lot of stuff though”, the organiser noted. The overall amount of clothing that people have that they don’t really want or need anymore raises some pretty serious questions about how much stuff we consume as a society and why it is so easy to amass a pile of clothes for our kids.
It’s helpful to have the Fashion Guide to drive our consumption towards those companies who are treating their workers fairly but at the end of the day we also need to consider why we have so much stuff. If clothing swaps were held more regularly it may help parents feel that they don’t need to go out and purchase new things for the next season…they can rely on those items that other parents don’t need anymore.
If your church would like to host a clothing swap, visit https://baptistworldaid.org.au/action/clothes-swap-guide/.