Swap, Really don’t Shop: Sustainable Style is Coming to UConn

Get a second and picture what is needed to make a single t-shirt.

If it’s a cotton t-shirt, that suggests land, labor, pesticides, and other methods had been required to develop, method, and transportation the cotton. Then the fiber is designed into cloth, possible demanding extra transportation and chemicals to even further approach and dye the material. Future, the cloth is turned into a t-shirt in a garment manufacturing facility all right before remaining transported to a retail outlet.

By the time it receives to the client, that one t-shirt has made use of considerable resources, chemical substances, and labor for output. Odds are the t-shirt, together with most of the other outfits we dress in, expense drastically much less than the labor and assets made use of to make them. This kind of low cost garments has made a tradition of “disposable fashion” also identified as speedy fashion.

“If something is so low-priced, that is how you know it’s not sustainable,” says Madeline Kizer ’24 (BUS) who is identified to educate as several people today as achievable about rapidly trend and sustainable solutions. She and other UConn pupils have founded the UConn Swap Shop, a second-hand clothes store aimed at selling sustainable buying practices which will open up its doorways on Thursday, September 8th in the Household Studies Building.

Kizer turned interested in sustainable manner right after observing a documentary known as The Genuine Charge, which she claims opened her eyes to the harms of fast fashion to the natural environment and to human legal rights. Purchasing secondhand is a person strategy to counter rapidly fashion, and this is the root mission behind the UConn Swap Shop, suggests Kizer.

“We want to raise consciousness about sustainability and get people to converse about it,” she suggests. “If we can get far more individuals to shop sustainably and raise consciousness of the challenges, ideally, we can generate transform.”

The Swap Shop is a spot in which college students can donate garments or swap for unique objects.  Aside from swapping clothing, Kizer claims the shop will host functions.

“We’re also organizing to host stitching and upcycling workshops the place we will train people how to upcycle and the motives for why we’re performing this,” Kizer suggests. “We also want to make other educational workshops or a converse sequence about rapidly style in standard.”

In the tumble of 2021, Kizer was portion of the F3 method for woman business people. Tasked to locate a dilemma and make a resolution, in a natural way, Kizer determined to emphasis on sustainable fashion and worked on making a sustainable apparel swap brand she identified as “kizerskollection.”

By means of her exploration, she came across outfits swap situations in the British isles. Acquiring never ever noticed something really like it in Connecticut, Kizer resolved to give it a try out and just after hosting a effective clothes swap, she made a decision to bring the notion to UConn.

“In the tumble of 2021, I started hosting compact occasions and pitching at many pitch competitions,” she states. “I didn’t think about creating a permanent shop on campus but recognized that it would be advantageous for students to have a spot where by they can go and just recycle everything they have at school. From late tumble by way of the spring semester, I labored on turning this desire into fact.”

At 1st, Kizer was achieved with some question, mainly relating to space, but she says she didn’t let that dissuade her. She utilized for and acquired a UConn Idea grant in the drop of 2021. Kizer connected with Efua Koomson ‘22 (CLAS) and Lyla Andrick ‘24 (CAHNR), who shared the similar eyesight. They determined to collaborate and used for the UConn Business of Sustainability Environmental and Social Sustainability Modest Grants Software, which they ended up awarded.

In addition to the grant funding, immediately after official acceptance from Interim President Radenka Maric, Kizer suggests the group was also granted room in which they could set up shop, in home 001 in the Family Scientific tests Setting up.

“David Noble and my mentor Katie Britt at the Werth Institute have supported me in the course of this complete venture, and I am incredibly grateful due to the fact devoid of their support we wouldn’t be where by we are with the Swap Store,” Kizer claims. “With the grants we acquired, we ended up ready to order stitching devices and all the things needed for opening the retailer.”

Kizer suggests an additional plan they have for the Swap Store is to aid and showcase sustainable nearby companies and UConn business people. Kizer would like the shop to aid open up people’s eyes to what is achievable.

“Throughout all of the swaps I’ve held, I have actually attempted to glamorize thrifting so that it appeals to a lot more people and encourages all those who would not typically thrift to do so.”

All in all, Kizer is fired up for the long run of the store and for serving to other folks study about sustainable fashion,

“I was performing shopper analysis where by I asked persons if they could identify a sustainable manufacturer. So numerous people today think specific brand names are sustainable when they are not. There is so significantly greenwashing. I really feel like it is a huge wrestle to carry recognition devoid of staying around the top rated, to get folks wondering, and know they can be portion of this motion.”


If you’d like to donate, learn far more, or commonly preserve up with the details, take a look at the UConn Swap Store on Instagram (@uconnswapshop) or electronic mail at [email protected]