Honest Clothes Swapping

Swap your top! Fairtrade Foundation Nieuwegein, the Clothing Bank 4 Nieuwegein and the World Store Nieuwegein organised a Fairtrade Clothing Swap in the Dutch Fairtrade Week. People who handed in their old clothes received a coupon for a discount on ‘honest’ clothing by Made-By or Fair Wear Foundation. The coupon was exchangeable at four Nieuwegein clothing stores.

The action had several goals: to draw attention to the bad working conditions in the clothing industry and show that there are alternatives; to stimulate clothing stores to promote ‘fair clothing’ by making it more visible and stimulating awareness at sales staff; to create behaviour change in buying clothing and to create awareness that clothing should not be thrown away but instead reused and recycled.

At the start of the action all the clothes stores in Nieuwegein who stock Fairwear or Made-By clothes were approached. Not everyone wanted to participate. An important reason for this was that it was mostly chains where the headquarters would not give permission. The four clothing stores that did take part were very positive towards the clothing swap action. All four participating stores indicated that customers responded positively. The action was such a success that a 2015 version is planned.

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