Your new substainable wardrobe

You are currently viewing Your new substainable wardrobe

ENG: Your new substainable wardrobe

Empty Your Wardrobe (EYW) is a sustainable organization co-founded by Svetlana Petrova and was started in Bulgaria. 

Back in 2015, during a casual summer walk in Sofia, I was  having a chat with one of the other founders – Denitsa, about “how it’s the time to change the wardrobe with winter clothing”. Suddenly, we’ve come up with an idea instead of buying new, to host a clothing swap event. 

“Why do we need to go and buy from Zara or H&M instead of sorting our wardrobes to see what we’ve already got? And the clothes we no longer wear – to drop it off in a place where others could find something they like? A place where people wouldn’t be limited by how much they can bring and take, because there is simply so MUCH we already own – a utopian open wardrobe for 2nd hand exchange?!”

Picture by Antonia Fedder

The initial concept was born probably a year before that summer walk as a thought suggested by the third founder Petya: to collect and improve clothes that people have been tired of by changing the style, upcycling, adding something personal from our side. We couldn’t completely develop these ideas separately. But the combination of them together became a foundation for what we call Empty Your Wardrobe today. 

The project has evolved and moved its location and activities to Kolding, Denmark in 2016. The primary mission is to create behavioral change about the ways we consume and to reduce textile waste by extending the life cycle of used clothing and accessories. EYW community consists of 70 local and international members from the age of 15 to 35, with a majority of students from academies and universities in Kolding.

One of the most important things for EYW is to be the place where community members could realize their talents, explore curiosity and grow. That is why both new and old members can decide which side of the project they want to be a part of, or create something completely new. Two of our main pillars are Diversity and Inclusion so everyone is welcome to join. 

Picture by Antonia Fedder

The vision of Empty Your Wardrobe is to create a platform for Sustainable Innovation, connecting people from different backgrounds all focusing on the same goal: “Re-Loving the Future of Our Planet”. Empty is doing this by hosting clothes swap events and festivals, creating workshops for textile transformation and knowledge exchange, sustainable talks, designing collections based on Zero-waste, Circular Economy and Artisan Techniques and building a strong youth community with other climate organisations.

Our latest Swap Spot project is a response to the current situation within the textile and fashion industry and global overconsumption. Swap Spot opened doors in the end of September 2020, as a natural extension to the pop up clothes swap events. It aims to generate a dynamic circular flow of second hand goods within the community, and to encourage citizens to choose second hand instead of new by showing them its potential.

Picture by Antonia Fedder

How it works!

When you come to the Swap Spot with clothes you want to exchange for something else – first thing we do is review the garment. We call this step a Quality Check – it’s a standardization process where each piece is checked following different factors to evaluate the state of the used garment (such as condition, fabric, brand, weight etc.) and then receives virtual points – “Wastecoin”. These coins are stored in an account, your “waste wallet”, that can be spent to shop in the Swap Spot. In the future you will be able to spend these coins on other sustainable products and services in the ecosystem.

It may sound like an easy job but that was not what we have experienced. The planning of Swap Spot started at the end of November last year and it took us two – three  months to gather the team, make a floor plan, organize all activities ahead, renew the interior of the space and find all the needed furniture and materials. We were looking for things to reuse and actually found great options at the local Skatkammer.

In February we had five (!) community meetings where we brainstormed and co-created all of the procedures behind the concept, for example, common rules, merchandise, lights, decor, and more. We were super excited to open the doors in March but unfortunately the lockdown made us cancel and postpone everything for an unknown period of time…On the brighter note we could reflect on how and why do we want to do it so we’re all set once the city wakes up again. 

Swap Spot has been launched on the 26th of September and is running successfully until today.
Meet some of the community members that are part of the project! And if you want to join us, here is the place we meet: @eywkolding.

The Swap Spot Q&A

Monika Tei

Where are you from and currently located

Originally from Lithuania currently in Kolding

What do you do?

I watch films, Iisten to a ton of music and move around a lot. After coming to Denmark last year, I became a part of Empty Your Wardrobe (and the Swap Spot) so that’s one of the current on-going projects. On the side note I freelance as an assistant editor for a Berlin based music magazine which consists of occasional Japanese translations, communication and writing… So a bunch of exciting things. 

To your understanding, Swap Spot is….

It’s a place where you can swap, re-love and make more sustainable options in regards to your wardrobe.

Latest gem found at the Swap Spot:

How and Why are you involved in the community?

Doing various things….From cutting posters and making coffee to quality checking the garments, seeking funding, meeting the stakeholders, brainstorming & developing new ideas. In general a lot of “backstage” work to make things happen. I’m in because I’m having fun being a part of it. I also believe that the project has a lot of potential and I’m curious what’s going to happen. Besides, the community is just really lovely people.

Szandra Staudinger

Where are you from and currently located

I’m from Hungary and I live in Aarhus.

What do you do?

I’m a student.

To your understanding, Swap Spot is

…. a place to renew your gardrobe with sustainable choices and also a community of like minded people.

Latest gem found at the Swap Spot 

How and Why are you involved in the community? 

I’m currently an intern with Food:RE:Formers that’s how I got to know about EYW and Swap Spot too. I’m involved because I share the values of the community and I’d like to contribute to people choosing sustainable choices instead of fast fashion.

Læs meget mere fra Slicetown lige her: