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There’s a free clothes swap-shop in the Baltic Triangle this weekend

11 months ago

There’s a free clothes swap-shop in the Baltic Triangle this weekend

The Baltic Swap-Shop is in the sheds at Baltic Creative, by 92 Degrees Coffee on Jamaica Street, on Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

A free clothes swap-shop is happening in the Baltic Triangle over the bank holiday weekend, giving people the chance to have a wardrobe clear-out and exchange their unwanted clothes.

There’s no cash involved, swappers just turn up with their items, they’re given a token in return for each one and then they can ‘spend’ that on something different from the donated stock.

The event has been organised by Baltic resident Alex Keyter who says swap-shops are becoming an increasingly popular way to stop clothes either being left on the shelf or ending up in landfill.

“I read recently that we have enough clothes on the planet now to give everyone clothing for the next six generations but at the same time a lot of it is either just sitting unworn in people’s cupboards or going in bins,” he says. “We have the surplus but there’s no infrastructure for redistributing it even though more and more people are interested in the sustainability of swapping instead of buying. 

“Swap-shops are an easy way of doing that and even any remaining clothes that are left at the end will be sent to Roberts recycling for textile processing so nothing will be wasted.”

Baltic Triangle Swap-shop
Baltic Triangle Swap-shop

Alex decided to run the Baltic Swap-Shop after seeing the success of similar events in the city and other parts of the country.

He explains: “I moved to live in the Baltic Triangle a year and a half ago, I’m from Southampton originally, and I needed to make friends and connections so I just went and spoke to anyone I could. I started going to Baltic CIC networking events and I thought it would be great if there were more resident-led community projects going on.

“I’d seen a couple of clothes swap-shops in Cardiff when I was studying there and I’ve seen other groups in the city organise events like this. Liverpool Guild of Students did one for their students at the start of the year so that was the original inspiration.

“I thought it would be a cool way to bring people together and reduce and reuse so I applied for grant funding and now we’re here, about to have our first one.”

The Baltic Swap-Shop is in the sheds at Baltic Creative, by 92 Degrees Coffee on Jamaica Street, on Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

And Alex says although it’s a community idea, everyone is welcome to go and exchange their unwanted clothes whether or not they live in the area.

“People can come along with clothing that’s still in good condition but they’re not really using anymore and maybe it’s just sitting in their wardrobe. Rather than putting it in the bin or dropping it off at a charity shop, which obviously could be done, they bring them to the swap-shop and in return for each item of clothing they’ll get a token. Other items that people have already donated will be out on rails and they can exchange their tokens for something else they’d like.

“No money changes hands, it’s all completely free and done on a token system, but in order to be able to get items out you do have to bring items in, you can’t just come and pay an admission fee.

“We’re accepting T-shirts, shirts, dresses, skirts, jumpers, jackets and coats, but we can’t process things like underwear, shoes, socks. They mustn’t be stained or torn, or damaged beyond swap, but if they’re wearable then they’re welcome.

“When you’re donating an item it’s because you want it to have a new home and then you could find a new home for something else. You’re going along because you’ve got clothes spare but you’re staying because you’ve got the chance of finding other items that you like that you wouldn’t normally have found for yourself.”

For more info on Baltic Triangle click HERE.

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