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By Dorina S.

This new OPIRG working group is already making an impact with its do-it-yourself attitude that promotes sustainability and an alternative economy of buying less and reducing consumer waste. Despite the stigma of bed bugs and sanitation associated with used clothing, members collected over 700 pounds of garments that was displayed at the McMaster University Student Centre atrium recently.

There, individuals could use their swap points, obtained from donating their own used items, to get new (to them) items just in time for Halloween. Over the past month, ThreadWork has been collecting everything from shoes to t-shirts, which help you add to your swap points. These points will carry over to the next clothing swap in the Spring, if you didn’t get a chance to use them up this time around.

ThreadWork began in September with three members and already has an active volunteer group that helps out at events. Equipped with a small budget and a progressive idea, Davey Hamada, one of the core members, and his co-collaborators are happy to know that “people can make a change in their community from one idea.” They are currently working on a list of brands, retailers and thrift stores that are in line with the group’s core values of fair labour and community. This will allow students and Hamilton citizens at large to make use of their purchasing power and send a message that supports the fair trade of ethically sourced clothing. All of the items that are left over from the Clothing Swap event are being donated to a local charity, and members will also be holding Sewing 101 workshops to help students turn their large, ripped, and/or buttonless clothes into useable wears without mom’s handiwork.

If you want to stay in the loop or get weaved into the world of ThreadWork by facilitating a workshop, contact the group at macthreadwork@gmail.com.