“A space where fashion, community and sustainability coincide.”
In the last few years, we’ve seen a push for fashion consumers to reconsider the end life of their wardrobe purchases. Moving away from the ‘make-take-waste’ model, the climate crisis is encouraging people to think a little more carefully before adding to cart. But we all make mistakes! And as any avid shopper will know, it’s easy to make an impulse purchase in a moment of weakness.
This is where the circular fashion economy comes in. “Circular fashion is a system where our clothing and personal belongings are produced through a more considered model,” Madeline Hill writes for Good On You. “Where the production of an item and the end of its life are equally as important.”
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Put simply, it’s a system that promotes thoughtfulness at every stage of the garment lifecycle. Instead of sending your unwanted pieces to landfill, the circular model encourages repairing, upcycling, selling on, donating or bringing to a clothing swap – like the upcoming PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival Trashie x Fashion Journal Clothing Exchange.
A Melbourne-based, sister-run initiative, Trashie (a take on ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’) is a monthly-ish clothing swap and “concept retail experience”. This very special upcoming edition, happening on March 2, will feature a panel hosted by me (FJ’s Assistant Editor), in conversation with Trashie’s Co-Founders, Katie and Angela Di Fabrizio.
As an official media partner of PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival, over the coming weeks, FJ be sharing some of the standout events in the Festival calendar. Am I a little biased? Yes, but I’m also a long-time Trashie enthusiast who’s never missed a swap.
I’m too lazy for Depop but want my pieces to go to a loving home, and have traded in gems for some of my most-loved new wardrobe pieces. As I type this, I’m wearing a double-buckled black miniskirt I picked up from a previous Trashie – a garment I have on constant repeat. Below, I speak to Katie about some of the other benefits of attending a clothing exchange.
Can you tell us about Trashie, and how you got started?
Trashie is our baby, our concept retail experience. Trashie is a space where fashion, community and sustainability coincide. We started this journey nearly two years ago. It has been a major learning journey… essentially, we are two sisters with a dream and Photoshop.
What can attendees expect from a Trashie event?
There is so much to expect from a Trashie event. The nucleus of our event is the fashion. This is then circumnavigated by live music, occasional booze and a tangible community experience. Every person who comes through our doors vehemently expresses to us that the event exceeded all expectations. So I guess expect to have your expectations exceeded?
As a small business owner, especially with a pioneering idea, it can sometimes feel like you’re trying to convince the world that your idea is valid and worth investing time into. Ultimately, we just wish for all guests to have an open mind and really embrace a new way of shopping.
In your opinion, what makes swapping more rewarding than selling?
As we live in a copy-and-paste world of overconsumption, those who choose to sell can definitely experience burnout and fatigue. To this, we ask: at what cost? Half the value of your item at a consignment store? Having the majority of your item absorbed by fees and postage?
It’s just a no from me. Personally, I would rather shop someone else’s old clothing gems and they, in exchange, can have access to mine. Exchanging is much more community-focused, we have access to so many amazing items that [people] lack the energy or time to sell or don’t have the heart to just give them away. So it is not only a major time-saver but also a unique retail experience, which is few and far between in this fashion landscape.
What should people know before attending a Trashie?
All people need to know before attending Trashie are the parameters we have in place to create an equal swapping experience. These parameters include no fast fashion, high-quality garments and the token system.
For example, high street and premium have different token values. People should know that we are here to curate a vibrant showcase of fashion pieces from which you can cherry-pick your newest fashion loves.
What are you most looking forward to with the upcoming FJ x Trashie Exchange?
We are so honoured and elated to be working with FJ at PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival. [We’re excited] to be able to do a panel and discuss – with yours truly – sustainability and the secondhand state of fashion.
I feel adequately qualified and over-opinionated. We have so many creative friends working alongside us for this event which is also a milestone in our creative lives – when you can work with those you admire and hold dear to your heart. We are excited to eat cake, have a drink and watch everyone take home some new special pieces.
Get your tickets to the Trashie x FJ Clothing Exchange here.