Swap For The Earth
Take a stand for the planet! Join EARTHDAY.ORG’S SWAP FOR THE EARTH – an Earth Day event at your college, your organization, your club, place of worship, your neighborhood or your home where everyone can bring clothes they no longer want and swap them for new ones. We invite you to join EARTHDAY.ORG as it celebrates its anniversary each year April 22nd by participating in our Fashion for the Earth Campaign’s SWAP FOR THE EARTH!
Why do a Swap?
Fast fashion’s negative impact on the environment is immense. Swapping is one way to help shift our mindset away from spending money on fast fashion and investing instead in a sustainable world. Most clothes are worn a short time and then disposed of. The majority (85% of the over 100 billion garments manufactured each year) will end up in landfills or incinerators, the natural resources used in making the garments destroyed. Swapping is one of the best ways to disrupt this pattern by keeping clothes in circulation. Finally, clothing swaps are not only fun, but also save money! So SWAP FOR THE EARTH and be part of the cultural shift, the new movement that challenges the unregulated take-make-waste fashion industry – its overproduction, exploitation of workers and its waste.
Swap for the Earth your own way
This Toolkit shows how to go about a swap. But it’s not meant to be a rigid blueprint. Each school, organization, club or group can use the Toolkit as a reference and adapt it in whatever ways work best for them. For example, people may play multiple roles, a clothing collection and set-up may take place the day before, the day of, or during the swap, some swaps may be planned on shorter notice, smaller swaps may require less organization, and so on.
I. Organize the Swap:
Preparation for your school’s Swap for the Earth event should begin 4 to 5 weeks ahead of time. Here are some of the key steps to begin organizing the Swap:
- Build the Team: Recruit students to the “Swap Team” by spreading the word that the club/organization/school needs volunteers to work on this exciting project. Depending on the projected size of the collection of clothes, plan the number of volunteers needed.
- Choose a Date & Time: Make sure to choose a date not conflicting with other important school events or holidays. Time should allow for at least a 3-hour swap and be scheduled during peak engagement hours. For example, a swap during the school’s lunch period or after classes the week of Earth Day (April 22nd) would be ideal.
- Select Location(s): Location(s) should be convenient for most students. You may need two locations if the drop off location of the clothing is different from the swap location.
II. Assign Swap Team Duties:
To ensure a smooth flowing swap, Swap Team members should be assigned to (1) clothing collection ahead of the swap; (2) event set up (ideally the day before the event); (3) ticketing and event management on the day of; (4) social media and on campus promotion; and (5) ‘unsold’ clothing drop off at the chosen charitable organization at the end of the swap. Examples of Swap Team Members’ positions and list of responsibilities are:
- The Host oversees the entire event and is responsible for:
- Gathering the team.
- Running the meetings.
- Deciding what the rules and guidelines are for clothing donations.
- Collaboration with other school organizations and local businesses.
- Assisting other team members.
- The Production Manager is responsible for:
- Responsible for the event set up with tables, racks, etc.
- Recruiting volunteers to work at the clothing drop off location and transporting clothes to event location if necessary.
- Arrange for laptops to screen videos during the event
- Oversea the running videos during the event
- The Graphic Designer is responsible for:
- Creating posters and/or flyers.
- Social media graphics.
- Signage for tables at the event.
- The Promotional Lead is responsible for:
- Notifying and posting on the school website/newspaper.
- Spreading awareness for the event on campus with promotional posters or flyers.
- Promotion on social media, including the creation of a Facebook event page.
- Take pictures and videos during the swap! Post on social media and send them to us at [email protected]. See video instructions below.
- Adding the event to our EARTHDAY.ORG Global Event Map.
- The Head of Inventory is responsible for:
- Overseeing the location(s) for the drop-offs.
- Checking donated garments for suitability.
- The issuing of tickets at the time of their drop-off – 1 ticket per item of clothing.
- The Sales Staff are responsible for:
- Recruiting volunteers for the day of the event
- Overseeing the sorting of clothing before and during the swap
- Keeping the space tidy, folding and hanging clothes
- Assisting customers.
- The Checkout Staff are responsible for:
- Accepting tickets for the ‘purchased’ items.
- The Head of Donations is responsible for:
- Identifying a charitable organization to donate any leftover ‘unsold’ clothing.
- Collecting the remaining clothing at the end of the event in bags or boxes.
- Overseeing delivery to the predetermined charitable organization.
III. Event To-Do’s Checklist:
Once a team has been built, and roles assigned, the next step is to create a checklist of tasks (See Event Planning Chart & Checklist). These tasks include:
- Reserve Event Space: Make sure to book well ahead of time to ensure you will have the space.
- Buy or Make Event Tickets: These can be purchased online/ through a vendor, or you can get creative and make your own!
- Make a List of Donation Rules or Guidelines: These can be included as part of the promotional materials for social media and posters. (See Rules and Guidelines Chart)
- Begin Event Promotion: Promotion for the event should be 3-4 weeks prior to the event.
- Ask student clubs to help inform/encourage students to participate in the swap.
- Create social media posts.
- Advertise the event in your school newspaper.
- Create and manage the Facebook event page.
- Put the Swap on event directories at your school.
- Put up promotional signage around high foot traffic areas on campus.
- Post the Swap on our EARTHDAY.ORG Global Event Map.
- Gather Clothing Donations: Clothing can be gathered prior to the event and stored for set-up or collected on the day of the event.
- Pick the Drop-off Location: Have team members or volunteers at the designated drop-off location to receive clothing and issue tickets: 1 ticket for each item, i.e. 5 donated items receives 5 tickets.
- Coordinate Clothing Collection: Ideally clothes will be dropped off at the same site as the Swap. If dropped in other places, they should be brought to the swap location with plenty of time to sort and for set up on tables/racks.
- Coordinate Sorting: Have volunteers at the location ready to sort clothing before and during the event.
- Purchase/Gather Supplies:
- Large bags and/or boxes for clothing collection
- Tables, racks, hangers
- Seating, full-length mirror(s)
- Paper and markers for labeling signs on tables
- Tape, scissors, and string
- Additional equipment may include a monitor, laptop and/or tablets for short films/documentaries to play during the event. (See Video Suggestions below)
- Print and utilize our ‘DO YOU KNOW ABOUT FASHION’ Facts Sheet and our ‘FASHION FOR THE EARTH PETITION‘ QR Code ).
IV. The Day of the Event:
Once roles have been assigned and the to-do list is completed, they should be incorporated into a schedule for the day of the event and distributed to team members and volunteers to make sure the Swap runs as smoothly as possible. When creating the schedule, be sure to keep these tasks in mind:
- Space Setup:
- Plan plenty of time for setting up the event space.
- Sort clothing items by type (i.e. coats, jeans shirts, etc.).
- Set up tables, racks, and hangers with designated clothing type, and size if possible.
- Signs may be helpful.
- Make the Checkout Station easily visible and accessible to swappers.
- During the Swap:
- Fold clothes and reorganize as the tables change.
- Ask students to take the EARTHDAY.ORG’S FASHION FOR THE EARTH TRIVIA QUIZ.
- At the Check-out station: Volunteers collect the swap tickets as the swappers exit the venue and ask students to sign EARTHDAY.ORG’s ‘FASHION FOR THE EARTH’ petition.
- Take pictures and videos during the swap! Post on social media and send them to us at [email protected]. (See video instructions below)
- At the Conclusion of the Swap:
- Event take-down and clean-up.
- Return all materials at the end of the swap.
- Gather leftover clothing and prepare for the donation pick up/or delivery to a pre-arranged local charity or thrift shop.
V. After the Swap
Make sure to share your experience with EARTHDAY.ORG. Post the photos and videos from the event on your own social media and be sure to tag us by using the hashtags provided below. Or, better yet, upload your swapping event photos, videos, or other files for possible use on EARTHDAY.ORG’s webpage or social media at [email protected].
INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW TO VIDEO YOUR EVENT & WHERE TO UPLOAD PHOTOS, VIDEOS, & OTHER FILES:
- Videos should be 30 seconds to 1 minute long.
- Videos should be shot in a landscape/horizontal format and shooting with a mobile phone is fine.
- Save your video as an MP4 and send via Dropbox or WeTransfer to EARTHDAY.ORG at [email protected].
- Alternatively you may upload your videos directly to our Google Drive https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1TtkMyK6pUE6TiRfbHtW-sOs0lSAHE_cr?usp=share_link
- Be sure to start the video by stating your name, your school and where it is located and the name of the club or organization sponsoring the event.
- Suggestions for a video as an organizer or volunteer:
- Tell us why you wanted to do/be part of a swapping event for Earth Day.
- Tell us about the process of organizing a swap and what was the most fun, gratifying or enjoyable thing about it.
- IMPORTANT: Please note: Any media files uploaded may be used for future publicity purposes by EARTHDAY.ORG. When submitting, you hereby accept and acknowledge this and waive all rights to said files for current and future use.
Social Media Handles:
Calls-to-Action for Your Social Posts:
- Be a Fast Fashion Disrupter
- Swap til’ You Drop
- More Swapping Less Shopping
VI. Other Things to Add to The Swap
Be creative! Add other elements to the Swap that will generate interest, broaden the educational experience and add to the fun
- Consider a raffle. On the day of the event, give swappers a raffle ticket and raffle off an item of clothing or another item donated for the event.
- Consider separating out very good items from the others and indicate that these items will cost more than 1 ticket. For example, a very good winter coat may ‘cost’ 4 tickets, etc.
- Consider having a “mending table” or “repair station.” Have a student/faculty/ member of the community who knows how to sew do a demonstration of how to sew buttons, mend holes, fix a collar, hem a garment or repair a zipper. Sometimes these same people can give advice about how to get rid of spots, wash/launder and keep clothes clean. Swappers could also have minor repairs done at the event (with buttons or hems).
- Incorporate a workshop: Invite sustainable fashion experts to enhance the draw for the swap such as a sustainable fashion expert (this can be a formal presentation).
- Display information: Display information about the harmful effects of the fast fashion industry including Earthday.org’s handout/flyer “Do You Know About Fashion?
- Play impactful videos. Use laptops to play videos during the swap. Some suggestions are:
The True Cost
The Ugly Truth of Fast Fashion with Hasan Minhaj
Fashion: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The High Cost of Our Fast Fashion: Maxine Bedat, Earthday.org Ambassador and Architect of The Fashion Act