In a unique book promotion event, teens were encouraged to exchange their beloved threads to help save the planet. On April 9, eco-activist Diana Kapp launched her new book Girls Who Green the World (Delacorte, Apr.) with an eco-friendly clothing swap, in collaboration with fashion activism nonprofit Fashion Revolution and with support from “bookstore-without-walls” Boogie Down Books. The three came together at Glasgow Caledonian New York College in SoHo.
“The goal of the swap was to launch #WorldClothesSwapDay to raise awareness about the tremendous problems in the fashion industry with overconsumption and environmental impact.” Kapp told PW. “Trading clothes fits with so many trends—loving to thrift, resale [on] Depop. Sharing and swapping is a big idea that fits with young women. They already love sharing their clothes!”
The event kicked off at 11 a.m. when guests dropped off their items, and they returned at 2 p.m. to begin their trading. Participants were able to bring up to 10 items to exchange at a one-to-one rate. Outreach included social media promotion from Kapp and Fashion Revolution, distribution of digital flyers at Brooklyn public libraries, and posts from Penguin Random House and Underlined on their respective websites. Approximately 400 to 500 items were available for swapping, and any items that were not successfully swapped were picked up by Fashion Revolution’s partner, Wearable Collections, to ensure no clothing was thrown away. Bookseller Rebekah Shoaf of Boogie Down Books attended the event, selling copies of Girls Who Green the World.
“The average American tosses 80 pounds of clothes a year. We consider something ‘old’ that has been worn once or twice,” Kapp said. She further explained the effect of the fashion industry on the environment. “Fashion is the world’s second most polluting industry, beaten only by oil, and the second largest user of the world’s water, just behind agriculture.”
The eco-friendly event aligns with the forward-thinking message of her new book Girls Who Green the World, which highlights 34 pioneers in the environmental activism space. “Young people are feeling a sense of overwhelm,” Kapp said. “I wanted to write a book that focuses on action-doers and changemakers, and bring back a positive spin to that narrative of climate.”
Speaking to what she hopes people take away from both her book and the event, Kapp said, “I think [we could use] a really new mindset that we don’t need to consume in the same way that we’ve been consuming. There are all kinds of creative solutions for getting the things that we need. I feel like it’s a whole new world [where] we can get the joy of something fun to wear that feels new to us, but it doesn’t have to be new and adding more stuff to the planet.”