Ryerson gets thrifty at clothing swap

(Courtesy of Beatrice Murch/Creative Commons

(Courtesy of Beatrice Murch/Creative Commons

By Saheel Shah

Despite the never-ending winter weather, spring has technically begun and some Ryerson students are purging their closets for a shopping spree that won’t cost them any money.

Clothing Swap, an event hosted by the Environment Urban Sustainability Student Association (EUSSA), promotes environmental sustainability through repurposing clothes, but some students are taking advantage of the event for financial reasons.

The clothing swap, which was held April 8 on the second floor of the Student Centre, saw some quirky items pass through its shelves:a bar of soap, elf shoes and even some brand new dresses with the tags still attached. The latter, however, did not stick around for very long.

“University life drives you to it, either for the prices or just wanted do something for environmental purposes,” said second-year biology student Jacklyn Cunningham, clutching a green sweater in her hand.

Karina Schnaiderman, a group representative of EUSSA, echoed a similar sentiment.

“It’s a great way for people to get new clothing and get new stuff without purchasing anything and you’re not contributing to any sort of big mass fashion … especially in the location that Ryerson is in, there are a lot of fast fashion stores in the surrounding area.”

An avid thrift store shopper and self-proclaimed anti-consumerist, Elise Bouvier, a second-year science student, tries to buy sustainable clothing more often than not. She said it’s about “trying not to spend money for the sake of spending money or spending money on things that just break.”

Wearing jeans from the 90s — one of her favourite thrift store finds — Bouvier describes the clothes swap experience as similar to thrift store shopping. “It’s hit and miss and sometimes you find something you end up loving for years, sometimes you end up finding something you pass on right away.”

One of Bouvier’s most successful finds included a pair of original white Sorel boots that she recently purchased for $4. A popular Canadian brand introduced in 1962, the shoes quickly became one of the best-selling winter boots in the world and can sell for up to $300.

Items that were not taken were donated so nothing went to waste.

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