A clothing swap is an event where students can exchange their unwanted clothes for ones they like, or simply donate old clothes without swapping. 'The event has two sides: it is a charity event, but also an action against fast fashion,' explains initiator Tijmen Sijtsma. According to Bas Palinckx, also one of the initiators, every donation is important. ‘Even if it is an old blouse or trousers, anything that can still be worn is more than welcome.’
The group of six UT students which, besides Sijtsma and Palinckx, consists of Isa den Hertog, Lieke Sikkens, Marijn Schoenmaker and Bonny van der Aa are aiming to address a challenge that is widespread in Enschede, the issue of poverty. ‘Every year there is a ranking of the top poorest municipalities in the Netherlands and Enschede is always in the top ten, which is a problem that needs to be faced in some way,’ explains Palinckx. According to him, poverty in Enschede is not only a statistical figure, but can also be encountered in his everyday life. 'Yesterday I saw a mother in a thrift shop complaining that even the prices in the thrift shops in Enschede are too high, so that she couldn't afford clothes for her child.’
Challenges when organising
For the six students, all aspirant members of the Pythias ‘dispuut’, there were several hurdles in organising the clothing swap. 'One thing we struggled with was the location of the event', says Sijtsma. In order to make the event as accessible as possible for UT students, the student group planned to book a room in a university building for the clothing swap. 'We tried to book a room in Waaier, Carré, Bastille and Horst, but the rental prices for the rooms were far too high and many rooms were not available, in short, we had the feeling the university did not want to cooperate.’ Although it was not possible to book a room in a university building, the group found a way to still organise the charity event. 'We decided to keep it simple, so will set up a stand on O&O-square at campus on 12 October,' explains Palincxk.
Receiver of the donation
According to Sijtsma, the donated clothes will find their way to the needy in the region. 'The clothes we collect will be donated to the Kledingbank in Enschede'. The Kledingbank is a charity in Enschede that gives out free clothes to those in desperate need. Bas Palincxk emphasises, 'Everyone has a few T-shirts that they don't use or don't wear, so it's an easy thing to give away, while it's a great benefit for someone to actually wear and use them.’
On Wednesday the students will set up a stand at the O&O-square on campus between 12 and 2 o clock, where students can donate and trade.