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 is on its way of being more than just a place where people sleep, and therefore it provides activities that generate engagement between both guests and local community, and in which people can promote sustainability and interact with each other.
For this event, people brought clothes that were in good conditions and that they did not use anymore, and exchanged them with others – a great alternative to avoid over consumption, being good for nature and for the pocket. In total, we received almost 900 pieces of clothes! The participants could exchange a maximum of 7 pieces of clothes – but many donated more and did not take the maximum amount home. This way, our event ended up with almost 350 pieced left, which will be donated to the Salvation Army here in Gjøvik.
This type of event is a great way to raise awareness about the environment, as well as to change people’s perspective about how many clothes they own. According to this report, 8 out of 10 Norwegians believe they have too many clothes and shoes that are not being used – an average wardrobe in Norway consists of 61 clothes, shoes and bags, of which almost half are not used regularly. Many of the clothes we received were still with their tags on, meaning no one has ever used them!
Written by: Yousra Makanse and Renato Albernaz
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