16-Global-Exchange-ClothingThe following blog post was written by Global Exchange Social Media and Communications Intern Katie Koerper. Katie studies Communication and Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Last week Global Exchange held its 3rd annual clothing swap, and as evidenced by the pictures, it was quite a success! Staff and interns brought their unwanted clothing from home and gathered in the conference room during lunch to exchange clothes and engage in a discussion about the benefits of wearing used clothing.

Drea Clothing Swap shoes

Drea’s clothing swap score; a pair of adorably colorful flats

This clothing swap was started three years ago by Global Exchange’s Cuba and Middle East Reality Tours Director Drea Hightower. Here’s what she had to say about why she started it:

“I participated in a clothing swap once, and discovered how much fun it was and how great the benefits are. So I thought, this would be a fun thing for our staff, summer interns, and office mates to get involved with. And so it began. It’s been a huge success that we look forward to every year now.”


The fun frenzied clothing-swappers sift through donated clothing to find just the right piece(s 




Manufacturing and transporting new clothes requires a considerable amount of resources and often employs sweatshop labor. Thus, like thrift stores, clothing swaps offer an environmentally-friendly alternative to purchasing new clothes. By participating in clothing swaps we can avoid contributing to the wasteful cycle of consumerism without sacrificing our sense of style.


Abad the Global Exchange office dog gets into the fun with this hand knit hat






Global Exchange staff, interns, and office neighbors had a lot of fun participating in this year’s swap. Check out the pictures on Facebook to see for yourself.

Take-ActionTake Action!

  • Check out pictures from the Global Exchange Clothing Swap on Facebook to see what people snatched up;
  • Consider hosting your own clothing swap! Next time you’re planning a social at the office or with your friends, consider a clothing swap! Pick the time and place, and give people enough notice to sift through their old clothes for gems others might want. Then let the magic happen!