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Clothing swap offers a comfortable and affordable way to explore different styles

A colorful variation of clothes hung up along a clothesline, blowing in the wind. Clothing swaps encourage sustainability and reduce textile waste.// Illustration by Alfie Short

This story is an expansion on reporting about two separate clothing swaps held within the same week at Western. Read the main story here.

T.A.G. Team for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Students held their quarterly clothing swap on March 4 for anyone looking to get rid of no-longer loved items and exchange them for something new.

This swap is a safe and fun space for anyone who may or may not be sure of what their “style” is. Both new and returning members took their time and explored the clothes spread out along tables, regardless of the number of items they brought to the event. 

“It’s a very sustainable option for various people who don’t have the money or prefer an eco-friendly way to get clothes, but it also creates a close community,” said first-year Kat Smith, a member of T.A.G. Team.

Smith said even though she doesn’t feel she has a lot of style, she just goes with whatever feels right at the moment. Some days she’ll feel confident in a jumpsuit and leather jacket combo, other days she’ll feel happy wearing a cardigan and sweatpants.

Officer of T.A.G. and fourth-year Ian Nava first joined the club when he saw it at an info fair his freshman year. Nava said clothing is essential since we wear it every day, but it can also be a great tool for gender expression. 

“I know when I first got to college and I first started transitioning I didn’t really have any clothes that felt good to me,” Nava said. “[The clothing swap is] a nice free way to get rid of clothes that don’t make you feel good anymore, that will hopefully make another person feel good.”

“I like to wear things that make me look like an angsty older brother in a Disney channel original movie?” Nava said when asked about his personal style. “But I don’t dress like that every day.”

Nava also said it’s just fun to see people come back and get more comfortable being at the club or with their gender. He feels it’s important for students to know that there's a space where they can feel comfortable and supported when discovering their styles.

“[At the club] we can just see each other as a community of friends and be there for each other in times of support, or just to hang out,” Smith said. “I will say that this club has always been open for people, regardless of whether or not they’re LGBTQ+, because it’s less about projecting that we are a safe space for people, and more just letting people do life somewhere that is a safe space.”

T.A.G. Team will continue to host meetings and events like the clothing swap throughout the year. To join, you can email them for a link to the club’s discord.

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