The RunDown

The RunDown

Clothing Swap a Success

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  • Student shopping for new clothes at the Swap Shop

  • Clothing Swap Flyer

    designed by Natalie Spitzer
  • Sisters, Natalie and Sarah Spitzer stand in front of a portion of the 280+ collected clothes

    Joe Vitulano
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Two students at River Dell have taken the idea of a thrift store to a whole new level.

Juniors Natalie and Sarah Spitzer have created River Dell’s own “Swap Shop”, an initiative to promote fashion sustainability and environmental awareness. Students swap out their gently worn clothing, and from the collection of donated pieces, they select new items to take home.

In the two weeks prior to the opening of the Swap Shop, students brought in their clothing, and were given one ticket per each clothing item, later using them at the shop to “pay” for another item.

“I wanted to bring my passion for fashion to River Dell and reenergize the efforts of the once existent fashion club,” Natalie told me. “And I wanted to collaborate with my sister, Sarah, who’s interested in helping the environment and reduce waste.” Indeed, textile waste is a serious issue in our time. 92 million tons of textile waste is produced every year and only 1% of those clothes are recycled into new garments.

Before collections even started in late February, Natalie and Sarah had many morning meetings with Principal, Mr. Pepe, to discuss the planning of the event. His support and new ideas helped the twins build momentum as they brought their plan to life.

To publicize the clothing swap, Natalie designed flyers which were printed and posted throughout the building. The sisters also started an Instagram account where they posted information and pictures as the final date approached.

Although the shop built its inventory of donations to almost 300 pieces, Natalie noted, “We were a little disappointed that a larger portion of the school community, including staff, didn’t participate. Initially, we anticipated fewer clothes and more people donating.”

That being said, Natalie and Sarah were surprised by not only the quantity of clothing, but also the quality! They’ve collected countless trendy item from brands such as Zara, Brandy Melville, Aerie, American Eagle, and more. In fact, to display all the clothing, Natalie and Sarah, went out into the community and gathered clothes hangers from local dry cleaners and generous neighbors.

Beginning on Tuesday March 12, the Swap Shop opens its doors. Its success will still depend on River Dellians returning and shopping. To those who didn’t donate, you’re warmly invited to stop by and “window shop.” Natalie and Sarah are also happy to accept last-minute swaps, especially from staff members. Come join in the shopping fun and check out the event before River Dell’s next clothing swap!

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