Kennesaw State OwlSwap One Clothes Alternative at a Time to Sort out Sustainability Training

Kennesaw, Ga. , 22 April 2022

Born out of a Kennesaw State College classroom dialogue in 2018, OwlSwap college students and college leaders work exhausting to unfold consciousness about how recycling clothes can have a optimistic affect on the setting.

brit selecting

On this Earth Day, OwlSwap director Britt Pickering, a sociology alumnus, stated that having no answer with one individual at a time can look like an enormous drawback.

“Textiles have the best affect on the planet from manufacturing to the tip of its helpful life, and this is a vital challenge for college students,” Pickering stated. “All of us put on garments day by day, so we are able to all make decisions that assist scale back our carbon emissions and water use.”

In clothes manufacturing, heavy quantities of water and harsh chemical substances are used to fade denims or fashion shirts, and people chemical substances or microplastics typically pollute water provides world wide when clothes and acrylics are washed. And supplies like polyester break down. In some circumstances, air pollution can improve most cancers charges and different issues, Pickering stated.

Based on Pickering’s estimates, via recycling clothes, OwlSwap members have lowered the quantity of fresh water wanted to make new clothes by hundreds of thousands of gallons by decreasing demand for brand spanking new clothes. He stated OwlSwap has given college students about 17,000 articles of clothes, saving $82,000 on the price of shopping for new objects.

Pickering stated that previous clothes ends in lowered abusive labor practices in some creating international locations the place clothes is manufactured.


OwlSwap, a program of the Division of Geography and Anthropology, hosts sustainability education schemes on each KSU campuses, together with clothes swaps, classroom lectures, and primary enchancment workshops, and provides three free closet areas on campuses.

“Shoppers actually have the facility to vote with their {dollars} — selecting the place to purchase,” Pickering stated. “College students love coming to Instagram and calling manufacturers extra sustainable and moral, and we have seen that work.”

OwlSwap additionally has group companions, corresponding to Re:Loom, a Decatur nonprofit that combats homelessness via the repurposing of clothes and different textiles. By way of that partnership, surplus clothes from KSU is segregated and reworked into new objects which can be bought to help housing and job coaching applications.

Maria Anastasi, a senior train science main, has participated in a lot of the OwlSwap occasions since 2019. He stated OwlSwap is a good free useful resource for college students, and it’s fixing a world drawback on the native degree.

“I believe it is necessary as a result of now we have a accountability to one another as international residents to be moral towards one another,” Anastasi stated.

Radha Patel, a senior Political Science main, has labored for OwlSwap since 2020. As program coordinator, Patel handles clothes swaps and collects knowledge, together with monitoring stock and distribution of clothes. That knowledge is utilized in year-end reviews to indicate the affect OwlSwap made, for instance, within the quantity of water saved by chopping down on clothes waste.


Since becoming a member of OwlSwap, Patel says, sustainability has grow to be a significant a part of her educational and profession curiosity.

“I attempt to use much less plastic, and I attempt to store solely secondhand and boob swap closets. It has made me understand how huge a change a small change could make within the huge image,” Patel he stated.

— Thomas Hartwell

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A pacesetter in progressive educating and studying, Kennesaw State College provides undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels to its roughly 43,000 college students. With 11 faculties on two Metro Atlanta campuses, the state of Kennesaw is a member of the Georgia college system. The college’s vibrant campus tradition, various inhabitants, robust international ties and entrepreneurial spirit appeal to college students from everywhere in the nation and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral analysis establishment (R2), putting it among the many elite group of solely 6 p.c of U.S. faculties and universities with R1 or R2 standing. For extra info go to

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