Yousra and Renato had a very successful event in Norway with their clothes swapping day, and we did not want to be any worse here in Brazil. However, it is important to think about what might be a hit in Norway does not necessarily work the same way in Brazil. One of the great things about this project is getting to know how to best work with sustainability in our respective countries. And the best way to find this out is by talking to Brazilians, because how can two Norwegians know how things work in Brazil?
We suggested doing a clothes-swapping event to several people in Brasilia, but no one really understood the concept. “Why should I give away my clothes when I do not know what I get back?” was the response we got. And we totally understand it! Clothes are expensive here, and just giving away clothes is not something most people would like to do.
Luckily, we have some really good co-workers at Hostel 7 and Veronica in the reception gave us a great idea. She said, “I don’t want to give away my clothes, but I’d love to sell them!” And this way the Pop-Up Brechó was created. We wanted to provide the local community with a platform to sell clothes they don’t use, earn money, be social and simultaneously make clothes more sustainable by prolonging their lifespan.
Therefore, together with the staff at Hostel 7 we arranged an event where local people could sign up and sell their clothes at the hostel. We provided them with racks and space, all they needed to bring was hangers along with their clothes and accessories. In addition, we asked each seller to bring at least three clothes for donation. These items were collected and donated to the organization “A Casa de Ismael – Lar da Crianca”. We were happy to see that we collected 61 items!
The event started at two on Sunday. The sun was shining, the beer was ice cold (a MUST here in Brazil) and there were 400 items to buy for a cheap price. And of course, there is no real event without food, and therefore we had a food stand selling some delicious Acarajé, a traditional dish from Bahia. The event was very fun, and it was nice to see the hostel so lively on a Sunday. The people selling their clothes made some really incredible selling stations, especially three girls who even brought their own decorations and price tags. Very cool! The presentation of clothes makes all the difference. One girl also brought her own unique designer shirts, and another was selling homemade brigadeiros!
It was really cool to host our first event, which was also the first event at Hostel 7 in a long time. Just to see the hostel full of happy people and nice clothes made it all worth it. What is so great about Brazilians is their ability to just have a good time. At events here, people stick around for several hours just to relax and enjoy. This made such a good vibe from the beginning to the end.
Afterwards, several people came up to us asking for similar events in the future and suggested other kinds of get-together we could host. All in all, this was a successful first event, and we are excited to host more.
Written by: Eirin Heddeland and Hanna Jacobsen
Keep following our updates here on the blog, to hear more stories and ideas about sustainability in Brazil and in Norway!