On Feb. 23, environmental advocacy student group Grassroots hosted its monthly clothing exchange. The clothing exchange is a free activity on campus where students can donate clothes in exchange for new ones. 

“One of the key things about sustainability is reuse,” sophomore Zein Tynon, Co-President and Clothing Exchange Chair, said in an interview with CT. “Instead of throwing away old clothes or buying new clothes, you can donate them and give them a new purpose. You might be done with that clothing item, but someone else might not be.” 

According to Tynon, about 100-150 items are brought and 100-150 items are taken at the exchanges each month.

Tynon told CT that the clothing exchange has been run by Grassroots for many years, and is one of the club’s most well-known activities on campus. “I got involved because when we started it up again [after the pandemic lockdown], they needed a clothing exchange chair, and I volunteered and it’s been fun since then,” Tynon said. 

In response to how the clothing exchange makes an impact on the campus’ awareness of sustainability, Tynon said that there is a significant influence on sustainable fashion. “It does make a big difference. A lot of the times throughout the semester when people realize we have these [exchanges], they genuinely bring clothes and participate a lot more. So it does make a difference in regard to clothing sustainability and it does create a community where everyone can share their clothes.” 

Grassroots begins advertising their clothing exchange two weeks in advance via Instagram and posters around campus. 

Sophomore Co-President of Grassroots Alan Rojas commented on how the club not only advocates for sustainability on campus, but off campus as well. Another Grassroots initiative is bringing speakers to campus to talk about sustainability and environmental advocacy. 

“We have lots of discussions and meetings about sustainability issues and have partnerships with local organizations such as the Sunrise Rochester,” said Rojas. He continued to discuss how Grassroots is working with local organizations like Sunrise Rochester to have volunteers become more involved in local sustainability.

“The clothing exchange is definitely our most known activity on campus from our club, and I think it’s nice because there’s a lot of [students] who don’t know what to do with their clothes. A lot of friends have told me, ‘hey, I have a lot of stuff that I don’t know where to put, I don’t know where I should’ because they would have to go off campus,” Rojas said.

“It’s like thrifting but free,” Rojas added. “A lot of students love thrifting, so it’s something that students can relate and engage with easily, so I think it’s a really chill and easy way to get [students] more involved with sustainability.”   

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