Community, Features

Terriers swap clothes, celebrate the planet for Earth Day

Combining fashion with sustainability, BU Closet and professional fraternity Epsilon Eta hosted an Earth Day clothing swap in Kilachand Hall on April 18, their biggest event yet.

A clothing swap is similar to thrifting but free, Iffany Zou, BU Closet founder and president said. BU Closet and BU Sustainability collected clothing donations prior to the event, and attendees were able to bring more clothes directly to the swap.

“The reason why we want to make it free is because sustainability can be expensive, it can be not accessible,” said Zou, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. “So we want to make it as accessible as possible to college students,” Zou said.

A student rifles through a rack of clothes at the Earth Day clothing swap on Thursday at Kilachand Hall. BU Closet and professional fraternity Epsilon Eta collaborated to host the Earth Day 365 event with over 400 clothing items swapped. ZOE KU/DFP PHOTOGRAPHER

Clothing was piled high on the tables and hung on clothing racks, with people free to browse for as long as they wanted. Laughter filled the room as friends held up funny t-shirts for each other. Attendees went in and out, trying on clothing items before deciding to take them home.

Over 200 students attended the event, all together swapping more than 400 clothing items.

This particular clothing swap is one of over 30 events in BU Sustainability’s Earth Day 365 Series, events for the BU community to encourage sustainability year-round.

BU Closet works to promote circular clothing consumption on campus, Zou said. Circular clothing refers to the reuse of clothing like thrifting and hand me downs. Sustainable fashion is incredibly important, especially for college students, she said.

“It’s really easy to fall into a lot of micro-trends,” Zou said. “It’s really important to change our habits, but that’s not really possible unless we start on the individual level.”

Divya Sivakumar, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, was one of many students to attend the swap.

“I think it’s a really cool way to connect with other people, and it promotes sustainability,” she said.

Lamar Abu Ghosh, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she found the Earth Day swap after receiving a call from a friend who was already in line.

“It was amazing,” she said, as she was folding the clothes she got from the swap.

Besides promoting sustainability, one of Zou’s main goals, she said, is to show fellow students the role they play in the movement.

“I’ve donated stuff that I see other people picking up… you feel like you’re becoming part of a movement, part of a community, where you’re a key player in this idea of circular consumption,” she said.

In past years, BU Sustainability has done a single Earth Day Festival. For the second year in a row, they decided to try out something new.

“Instead of everybody coming to one central location for Earth Day, we’re making Earth Day accessible to everybody across the university,” said Sam Moller, the assistant director of communications at BU Sustainability.

Moller and the team at BU Sustainability are working to engage the entire BU community in the sustainability movement, he said.

“[Recycling and composting] are important things to do, but we also forget about reducing what we’re doing and reusing things as well,” Moller said. “It’s not just about what you put in the blue or the green bin.”

Individuals can change many small behaviors to reduce their consumption, Moller said.

“The celebration of our planet shouldn’t just be exclusive [to] Earth Day,” Moller said. “It should be something that we’re celebrating every single day of the year.”

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