On Sunday, July 28th, the first Barter ‘N Brunch took place at Sol Collective. Barter ‘N Brunch was a free swap meet for the community to bring their no longer needed belongings to trade with others, put together by Poppie Field Productions, in association with Peach House Presents. The event went from 2pm to 5pm, and free food was available for attendees.
The event was put on like smaller scale clothing swap, which usually take place at parks, or in other outdoor impromptu locations between friends or groups. The goal was to create a space that allows the community to provide for each other, instead of buying from stores and corporations. Attendees brought in their clothes, household items, art supplies and other items to swap with other community members for free. Many of the items that were brought were in great condition, some still in their original packaging or gently used. Clothes for people of all shapes and sizes that would usually cost between $20-$60 and up were available there. This allowed people who might not usually be able to afford, or just not want to spend a large amount of money on clothes, to nearly acquire them for free; in exchange for their old junk.
“I really like the idea of sustainable clothing, and usually it’s expensive if you want to buy it new,” said Libby Leonhardt, a 16 year old student from the Met Sacramento.
“I felt like the type of people that would be drawn to an event like this would have a really good sense of style, that I can kind of take pieces from, so I decided coming would probably
be something worth my time. I went to one, a swap couple years ago that was in a park that I live right by that I just joined on. At home, I had a big bag of clothes that I just hadn’t been doing anything with, so I kind of went through that and like decided what I thought was worth bringing along with a few home items. In exchange, I got so much! I got a really good pair of shoes, a nice bag, a really cool suitcase and a lot of other smaller things I’m excited about. Well specifically with events that draw a certain crowd, obviously it saves everyone money, but people can sustainably shop while getting things that they actually like. Sometimes it’s hard to go into a thrift store and find things you actually like, because it’s a lot of stuff to go through, and at things like this it’s more filtered and way more sustainable. I love events like this, where people can take my old things and I can take theirs, and it’s all fun and good. I’d really love to see more things like this so there’s less clothing waste.”
The United States generates more than 15 million tons of clothing waste a year, while nearly 100% of it is reusable. The lifetime of a garment in someone’s closet is typically around 3 years, while annually the average American buys 60% more clothing than they own.
“I came here today cause I really like the venue Sol Collective, and had a bunch of clothes I wasn’t wearing. I prefer to give back to my community rather than like going to Goodwill or something and have someone else make money off of them.” 22-year-old Dorrian stated.
“I brought all clothes, a bag full of them. Stuff I held on to, thought was cute, but never saw myself wearing any. I feel like I get most of my clothes from like clothing swaps like this since I’ve moved here, it’s kind of fun, I’ll see a friend wearing a sweater of mine like 2 months later and say ‘wow, that was mine!’. I got a notebook, a fanny pack, some arts supplies which is really, really cool, some paints and pastels. Also got two decorative plastic giraffes that are mirror images of each other, and an astronaut costume to mail to my baby nephew back in Ohio.
The first clothing swap I came to was maybe about a month after I moved to Sacramento from Ohio in 2017, I didn’t really know anyone or have any friends but I just found a page on Facebook and that’s where I met several people who are really good friends of mine. It was really cool I had never really been to anything quite like that before. I really liked how the clothes were just kind of all in one big pile, and there was no segregation of the clothing based on gender assumption or size or anything like. It felt like a cool environment where everyone can just pick it up what they are drawn to, and everyone is very validating to each other, and say, yeah, that looks great!
I don’t have a ton of money, you know you get bored of your clothes. Swaps are great because I’m able to get new stuff and get rid of old stuff and I’m not involving this middleman of some sort of like business or weird non-profit I don’t really know about their ethics, and instead just directly trading goods between me and someone else. That’s how it benefits me, and lots of people I’ve heard a lot of good testimonies from. They’re really comfortable environments to try out new styles or kind of gravitate towards new clothes, maybe like you’re playing with gender expression in a way that’s new in these environments like everyone’s like very supportive. Like I said earlier I really like how there’s no men’s and women’s sections.”
Poppie Field and Sol Collective plans on hosting more Barter ‘N Brunch events in the near future. To stay updated about upcoming events, follow Sol Collective on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SolCollective/