Saint Swap brings sustainability to student wardrobes

Students looking at clothing at SaintSwap

Story by Anna Schlutt, Staff Writer
Photos courtesy of Anna Schlutt 

The Aquinas College Center for Sustainability hosted Saint Swap, a clothing swap event, on Nov. 28 at the Donnelly Center.

The goal of the event was to minimize the amount of clothing students own but don’t wear. Essentially, the Center for Sustainability has provided a platform for students to exchange the things they’ve forgotten about in their closets for clothing they genuinely love.

Chloe Niepoth and Emmanuel Ibarra, campus sustainability interns, organized the event.Entrance table

“So far there seems to be quite a bit of excitement,” Niepoth said.

Students had the opportunity to donate any amount of clothing to Saint Swap, receiving one credit for every two items. Each credit could be exchanged for one item at the event. This resulted in students having fewer clothes than they began with.

“It’s important for people to realize that you can live a pretty minimalistic life,” Niepoth said.

Minimalism is a growing trend in America, particularly among millennials.

Thrifting is common among Aquinas students. This event provided an opportunity for students to exchange more directly without even leaving campus.

poster at event with information on fast fashionThe event also provided in-depth information about where America’s clothing comes from, emphasizing unsustainable practices and sweatshops. 

Organizers were nervous that students would donate only low-quality or damaged clothing. However, students responded positively, with high-end and brand-new items.

“We’ve had a steady influx of donations,” Niepoth said.

Saint Swap was scheduled after Thanksgiving so students could bring items from home. However, a free table was available for those that forgot or didn’t have extra clothing to donate. Extra items were donated to Goodwill afterwards.

This event has been a major focus of the Center for Sustainability. Organizers have put every effort into advertising around campus and on social media. It is currently considered a pilot program, so if things go well a similar event may take place in the spring.


About the Writer: 
Anna Schlutt is a sophomore majoring in Photojournalism with minors in Spanish,
Political Science and Communication. She thoroughly enjoys working as a lifeguard for the City of Grand Rapids and trying to learn all the instruments you can find in a rock band.


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