Do you know how buying new clothes impacts the environment?
On April 1st, Vanessa and Fernanda, together with Naturforbundet, organized a “Clothes Swapping Day” at HI Gjøvik Hovdetun and it was a success! This kind of event in which people exchange clothes is very popular in Norway and Steffen Csirmazz, the hostel manager, came out with the idea of hosting one at HI Gjøvik Hovdetun. Vanessa and Fernanda -you might know them from earlier posts– came to Norway as part of a FK exchange project that aims to help Hostelling International Norway hostels in their sustainability strategies. According to Fernanda “it is very easy to organize an event like this anywhere, it is simple and people like it”. “We did not spend anything”, Vanessa complements, “we got in touch with some stores and they were willing to give us the hangers that they would throw away instead”.
People brought clothes that they do not use anymore and exchanged them with others. Good for nature and for the pocket. They received more than 1.000 clothes of which almost 700 were swapped. This means the event helped to save around:
- 8.450.000 liters of water
- 9.750 kg of carbon dioxide
- 1.755 kg of chemicals
Just by not buying new clothes!
The main purpose of the “Clothes Swapping Day” is to bring people from the community together and engage them in a social and environmental cause. Following Hostelling International core missions, HI Gjøvik Hovdetun wants to be more than just a place where people sleep, and therefore it provides activities that generate good things for both guests and local community, in which people can promote sustainability and interact with each other.
The staff from the hostel said they were impressed by the greatness of the event! It happened from 12AM to 17PM but the first 2 hours were the most intense. They said that there were some times they would have to ask people to wait outside for a few minutes while the other people inside finished. Many of them seemed very happy with their new acquisitions and hopefully the event touched their minds regarding responsible consumption as well.
Norway is one of the countries with the greatest carbon footprint rates and that was a small step taken towards a more sustainable way of living. The clothes that were left -around 400 pieces- were donated to the Salvation Army for charity, which is also another great result from it. They even received a wedding gown which was taken by a beautiful future bride! What a day!
The message that stays is “Consume responsibly: wastage today is shortage tomorrow!”
Article written by Fernanda Miranda Cunha Tenório and Vanessa Ferreira Costa