Swap, You should not Shop: Sustainable Fashion is Coming to UConn

Take a second and consider what is required to make a single t-shirt.

If it is a cotton t-shirt, that signifies land, labor, pesticides, and other means ended up necessary to grow, method, and transport the cotton. Then the fiber is designed into fabric, probably necessitating much more transportation and substances to more procedure and dye the material. Future, the fabric is turned into a t-shirt in a garment manufacturing unit all right before staying transported to a retail store.

By the time it receives to the shopper, that one t-shirt has used significant means, chemical substances, and labor for manufacturing. Odds are the t-shirt, together with most of the other outfits we use, value considerably a lot less than the labor and assets utilized to produce them. These types of inexpensive garments has produced a tradition of “disposable fashion” also acknowledged as fast fashion.

“If one thing is so low-cost, that’s how you know it’s not sustainable,” suggests Madeline Kizer ’24 (BUS) who is determined to teach as many people as feasible about rapidly style and sustainable alternatives. She and other UConn college students have established the UConn Swap Shop, a second-hand clothing store aimed at advertising and marketing sustainable shopping behaviors which will open its doors on Thursday, September 8th in the Family Research Developing.

Kizer grew to become fascinated in sustainable trend right after looking at a documentary called The True Charge, which she says opened her eyes to the harms of fast manner to the environment and to human legal rights. Buying secondhand is a single approach to counter quick manner, and this is the root mission behind the UConn Swap Shop, says Kizer.

“We want to elevate consciousness about sustainability and get men and women to speak about it,” she suggests. “If we can get extra persons to store sustainably and raise consciousness of the issues, hopefully, we can generate alter.”

The Swap Shop is a position in which students can donate dresses or swap for different items.  Aside from swapping clothing, Kizer states the store will host events.

“We’re also arranging to host stitching and upcycling workshops exactly where we will teach individuals how to upcycle and the motives for why we’re doing this,” Kizer claims. “We also want to produce other educational workshops or a talk series about fast vogue in typical.”

In the slide of 2021, Kizer was section of the F3 software for feminine entrepreneurs. Tasked to find a challenge and build a option, obviously, Kizer determined to aim on sustainable style and labored on building a sustainable clothing swap brand name she known as “kizerskollection.”

As a result of her analysis, she came across apparel swap events in the United kingdom. Owning never ever observed anything at all very like it in Connecticut, Kizer made a decision to give it a check out and just after hosting a profitable garments swap, she determined to deliver the notion to UConn.

“In the drop of 2021, I started internet hosting modest situations and pitching at numerous pitch competitions,” she states. “I didn’t think about generating a permanent store on campus but recognized that it would be helpful for learners to have a place where they can go and just recycle almost everything they have at college. From late drop through the spring semester, I labored on turning this aspiration into reality.”

At 1st, Kizer was met with some question, mainly with regards to area, but she suggests she didn’t allow that dissuade her. She applied for and acquired a UConn Plan grant in the tumble of 2021. Kizer related with Efua Koomson ‘22 (CLAS) and Lyla Andrick ‘24 (CAHNR), who shared the exact same vision. They made the decision to collaborate and used for the UConn Workplace of Sustainability Environmental and Social Sustainability Smaller Grants Program, which they were being awarded.

In addition to the grant funding, soon after formal approval from Interim President Radenka Maric, Kizer says the group was also granted room where by they could established up shop, in room 001 in the Family Experiments Setting up.

“David Noble and my mentor Katie Britt at the Werth Institute have supported me all over this total undertaking, and I am extremely grateful because without the need of their aid we would not be exactly where we are with the Swap Shop,” Kizer suggests. “With the grants we gained, we had been capable to acquire sewing machines and anything essential for opening the keep.”

Kizer claims an additional system they have for the Swap Shop is to assistance and showcase sustainable local corporations and UConn entrepreneurs. Kizer desires the shop to support open people’s eyes to what is feasible.

“Throughout all of the swaps I have held, I have definitely tried using to glamorize thrifting so that it draws in additional individuals and encourages those people who wouldn’t usually thrift to do so.”

All in all, Kizer is thrilled for the long run of the store and for aiding others study about sustainable trend,

“I was executing buyer research the place I questioned people if they could title a sustainable brand. So quite a few folks assume specified makes are sustainable when they are not. There is so much greenwashing. I come to feel like it is a huge wrestle to deliver recognition without getting over the top rated, to get folks pondering, and notice they can be part of this motion.”


If you’d like to donate, study additional, or generally maintain up with the particulars, take a look at the UConn Swap Shop on Instagram (@uconnswapshop) or electronic mail at [email protected]