EcoHusky pushes for sustainability with their first clothing swap of the year

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Students gather for the Eco-Husky Clothing Swap at the top of Fairfield Way on October 1st, 2021. The event was intended to offer students an affordable and sustainable way to revamp their wardrobes. Photo by Campbell Karanian Grabs Photographer.

Last Friday, EcoHusky hosted a clothing swap on Fairfield Way, proving that one man’s trash truly is another man’s treasure. Students were asked to either bring clothes in good condition or pay a flat rate of $2 per item. All proceeds will be donated to a non-profit chosen by student feedback.  

The event was a huge success, with flocks of students gathered by racks and keeping an eye out for their next great find. Though some of the pieces were dated, there were plenty of cute and practical choices amidst the selection. And besides, as seen with constant resurgences of fashion trends, there’s a sense of charm that comes along with antiquated clothing.  

“It’s good for the environment and I don’t have to spend as much money,” Akshara Iyer, a third semester physiology and neurobiology major, said while hunting for clothes. “It’s kind of a two-in-one deal.”  

Encouraged to bring reusable bags, students stuffed them with anything from rain jackets to cocktail dresses. 

On top of being a part of the planning process, UConn student Madeline Kizer pulled aside fellow swappers to interview about their clothing swap experience. On her Instagram page, @kizerscollection, Kizer posts about thrifting, sustainability and fashion among the UConn community. Based on her findings, UConn students source most of their closets from fast fashion sites.  

Through events like clothing swaps, EcoHusky strives for change. A team of 13 EcoHusky members was in charge of the clothing swap, with plans to make it a recurring event this semester, potentially with a permanent space on campus.  

“There is so much waste on campus that we thought, with a bit of mindfulness and structure, we could help Huskies find a way to reuse clothing and find accessible alternatives to online shopping and fast fashion – all semester long,” said president of EcoHusky Caitlin Daddona, a seventh semester environmental science and sociology major.  

Clothes for the initial collection were donated by EcoHuskies, UConn Praxis and the Outing Club. Daddona even gathered pieces left behind during move-out periods in the Oaks. After a good wash, these clothes found plenty of new homes on Friday. In the future, the club is looking to host collection events in places like the Student Union and residence halls.  

Beyond clothing swaps, EcoHusky typically hosts hikes, clean-ups, discussions and paint nights. This week, they are stargazing on Horsebarn Hill and next week, they will be working with Hartford Marathon and Blue Earth Compost to talk about organic waste.  

In addition to stand-alone events, EcoHusky prioritizes collaborating with on-campus organizations like Poetic Release, Fridays for Future and UConn Collaborative Organizing. By hosting joint events, the club builds trust and community to fuel its overarching goal of campus environmentalism.  

EcoHusky aims for a year where students go beyond “this recycled/reusable cup phase…as individuals challenging institutions that threaten community survival,” says Vice President Chase Mack, a fifth-semester environmental and political science major. “We’re gonna do so and look fire from our pre-loved items while doing it.” 

EcoHusky welcomes anyone interested in respecting, appreciating and learning more about the environment. If you’re interested in getting involved with EcoHusky’s initiative to go green, email ecohusky@gmail.com

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