Sustainable in Beijing is our semi-regular column about sustainable lifestyle events and green news in Beijing. See more of our coverage here.
Clothing swaps and auctions have taken expat women’s circles by storm as of late, for very good reasons. Ladies who have participated in these swaps have transformed their fun fashion exchanges into a sustainable movement that has become charitable.
This Earth Day, events promoting sustainability and the zero-waste lifestyle abound, but there are two activities that I’d like to focus on in this edition of Sustainable in Beijing: the Plus-Size Eco-Fashion Swap and the Beijing High School Clothing Swap.
A “Big” Party Is Coming
Sometimes it’s just hard for anyone to find clothing that fits their size. On market apps like Taobao, it is just so mafan to buy clothes and to return those that don’t fit. And for plus-size people, it’s more challenging because clothes sizes in China are way smaller compared to those sold in the west.
So to answer that burning question of where plus-size people can get their clothing without spending too much, Sammy Sibanda has adopted the concept of clothing swaps and made it bigger! You will remember Sibanda as the founder of Miss Plus Global beauty pageant, and a prominent woman in the city’s African community.
She told us that organizing the Plus-Size Eco-Fashion Swap on April 21 (Sunday) for plus-size women comes from her personal experience.
“I’m plus-size, so the idea of just doing it is because I know plus-size women have problems in finding their sizes and different clothes. We’re different from other ladies who find it easier to get clothes their sizes and that’s what we are struggling with.”
As Sibanda attends many functions and organizes events, her wardrobe has grown to a point that it has left her thinking of not buying any more.
“Each and every time I organize an event, I actually buy a dress for that occasion. I only wear my dresses only once. My wardrobe is full, but I would love to have something else. So the way can I do that without spending money and wasting the clothes is to find someone who’ll take and wear them, while I also find what they have and take it. It is so eco-friendly and spices up our wardrobes.”
Sibanda says the timing of the Plus Size Eco Fashion and Swap Day is also ideal because we celebrate Earth Day.
“It’s the time when we do recycling and other sustainable actions. But instead of recycling clothes, it’s better we upcycle so whatever that I have in my wardrobe that I don’t use will go to someone who would like to wear it.”
But it’s not only about swapping clothes. People can bring formal wear, casual wear, shoes, accessories, bags, and stuff they don’t want to accumulate, or things that they don’t use. And as Sibanda puts it, “all things that plus-size people need will be under one roof, so when you walk out you’ll be guaranteed to have stuff that you will need.”
Plus Size Eco Fashion & Swap Day, Apr 21
It’s a party of epic proportions! All plus-size ladies in Beijing are invited to this eco-fashion swap day, a fun-filled event that brings everything that plus-size women need in one roof. Go there to clear out or spice up your closet! Everyone is also invited to the party, but attendees who wish to join the swap are asked to bring gently used plus-size clothing and accessories, bags and shoes, and other items. Note that ladies shoes range from 42-44 (US 10-12).
Adults. 1.30-6pm. 16 South Liangmahe Road, Chaoyang District. Contact Sammy Sibanda at 15101517496 for more information.
High School Fashion
One’s fashion statement arguably begins in high school, when the youngsters start to explore and be exposed to trends and styles. And it gets more interesting when they don’t need to wear uniforms at school. So if you are a high schooler and want to refresh your wardrobe with spring and summer colors, head over to the International School of Beijing (ISB) on April 20 (Saturday) for a clothing swap hosted by your peers!
ISB’s We for She Club hosts the first Beijing High School Clothing Swap to celebrate Fashion Revolution Week. From 11am to 1pm, high school students from any Beijing high school may drop off their clothes at ISB’s Gym 3 and receive vouchers for the number of clothing items they bring. Clothing items include clothes, shoes, accessories, outerwear.
Later in the day until 4pm, students can try on clothes and swap for “new” items. Come and get some “new” clothes, make friends, and support a great cause! All leftover items will be collected at 4 pm by Roundabout.
Beijing High School Clothing Swap, Apr 20
Ages 12+. Free admission. 11am-4pm. ISB Gym 3.
Photos: Artem Bali via Pexels (featured photo); courtesy of Sammy Sibanda and ISB’s We for She Club