Young people at Capel Farm Youth Club in Tonyrefail have recently delivered a successful clothes swap shop where members of the club were encouraged to donate clothing of good quality that they no longer wanted. This resulted in over 70 items of clothing being donated with all but 8 items finding a new home. This idea was something the young people themselves chose to do after discussions with YEPS staff around the environment and young peoples opinions on things they can do to make a difference.
Conversation flowed around the role they all play in fast fashion, and how their clothing habits impact on this. They all spoke about how they like to wear different items of clothing and “change things up”. This lead to discussion around how comfortable they would be in swapping clothes, which is something they were all willing to give a go. The idea for the clothes swap shop quickly developed from this with older members of the youth club taking a lead role, especially in the creation and distribution of promotional materials.
The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) say that:
“The fashion industry as a whole is a big polluter. Huge volumes of water are used in cotton production and dyeing (it’s estimated around 2,000 gallons of water are used to make a typical pair of jeans), and water use is unregulated in many areas. In textile hubs like Dhaka city in Bangladesh – home to the Rana Plaza tragedy – groundwater levels are dropping by up to one metre per year. Leather tanning and fabric dying also release chemicals into water supplies, leading to pollution from hazardous chemicals. Vast amounts of textiles are landfilled or burned and brands often destroy stock that is “out of season”. Synthetic fibres (like polyester, nylon and elastane) are made from processed fossil fuels and clothing treatments including domestic washing releases microplastics into the water systems and oceans.
If nothing changes by 2050 some estimate the industry will be responsible for a quarter of the world’s carbon budget. Change must happen.”
The event was very successful and took place on October the 26th during youth club time. They are keen to do this again in the new year, with many saying they are likely to be having a new year “clear out”.
On behalf of YEPS we would like to say a massive thank you to all the young people that made the event possible. We’re super proud of you all!