Recycled fashion fuels Walkinstown swap shop success

by Gazette Reporter

A mothers group in Dublin 12 is doing its bit to bring sustainable style to the area and bid farewell to fast fashion.

A pop-up swap shop held in Walkinstown earlier this month proved a huge success with hundreds of items of donated clothing finding new homes.

The event, hosted by Paula Bradley and Amy and Hannah McGovern, saw those who donated allowed to choose 10 new items for free, while others donated €5 for every three items they chose.

The organisers met through a freecycle group for mothers in the D12 area. They decided to host a swap shop because they noticed many of the women in their group had changed size, and often style too, after they had children.

So they encouraged women to clear out their wardrobes – Marie Kondo style – and decided to donate any money they made to the CMRF Crumlin. Because the event was originally due to take place in March, the pile of donations grew substantially.

“A lot of the donations were brand new items with the tags still on,” Paula revealed.

Brands that featured strongly included Cos, Zara, River Island, Ted Baker, and there was even an Alexander McQueen tee that was snapped up quickly on the day of the event.

Hannah said: “We spent all night the night before sorting the items into size categories and spent an hour and a half setting up on the morning with the help of a few recruits like my long-suffering mother.”

With strict distancing and face-covering precautions in place, the women were worried that there might be a subdued atmosphere, but there was a steady flow of excited women throughout the day and all were very happy to comply with the guidelines to get some new duds.

“I got some great bits. I’d definitely come along again, it was a great event,” enthused local mum Remi Walsh.

The group was delighted to raise over €700 for the CMRF and sent more than 50 women home with new outfits.

“It was a great success and something we’re definitely interested in doing again,” said Paula. The McGovern sisters agree and are already starting to think bigger. “Perhaps we could do an event for kids clothing and home wear, maybe menswear too.” says Amy.

To connect with the organisers and stay up to date with their future events follow their instagram @localswapshop.

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