On Friday, January 22, the MHS National Green School Society (NGSS) hosted a used clothing swap in the back courtyard of the high school. Masked customers, including students and dog-walkers, hand-sanitized before browsing the selection of donated jeans, shirts, jackets, and other items arranged on plastic tables. Many people purchased multiple pieces of clothing, since everything cost one dollar. “It was really cool to see what other people bought,” noted Lucy Sabin. “You get so used to your own wardrobe, and it’s interesting to see what you have in common with other people.”
Sophomore Anne Simcoe first proposed the idea of a used clothing swap to the NGSS club president, Sophie Hauck, in early December. Anne’s fashion blog, which she created as part of a school project, inspired her to actively encourage sustainable fashion in the MHS community. Her green-oriented goal overlapped with NGSS’s mission (promoting sustainability and awareness of environmental issues), making for an ideal collaboration. NGSS club officers and advisor, Mr. Ryan, helped Anne plan the swap, since they had prior experience organizing events like weekly trash cleanups and sea creature workshops with recycled materials.
NGSS is trying to expand its partnership with other high school organizations. MHS vocational class students Samuel Kosch and Hayden Holt worked with NGSS to help with the swap. As a class project, Sam and Hayden washed, dried, and sorted clothing donations into labeled bins. These students enjoyed helping with the swap, and would like to work with NGSS in the future.
NGSS counts the secondhand swap as a success. “I was really excited that members of the community besides students showed up,” remarked Anne. “Also, people donated some really good quality items. There was even a full length prom dress that someone snagged!” In total, NGSS sold 74 items of clothing and made $74.00. The next step, according to Mr. Ryan, would be expanding the swap to the larger Marblehead community.