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Philosophy First...

"There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness." Gandhi

Swap-O-Rama-Rama utilizes the existing surplus of clothing to create new-recycled goods, without consuming raw materials. In do-it-yourself spirit, through workshops and the collectivizing of ideas, it helps each individual break down the barrier between consumer and creator while inviting all to reclaim the creativity that has been lost to industry. Through hands-on experience, Swap-O-Rama-Rama invites the discovery that the making of things is not an activity to be avoided in order to attain leisure, but rather a playful and leisurely endeavor unto itself. At Swap-O-Rama-Rama objects are imbued with meaning as would-be trash is revivified with authentic, communal creativity and spirit. Repurposed garments are far less likely to be kicked to the curb as garbage and so ultimately Swap-O-Rama-Rama not only reuses would be trash but sets in motion a way of living that reduces textile waste. Finally, by re-branding clothing with self-celebratory labels, Swap-O-Rama-Rama invites us to see each other through shared creativity rather than through socio-economic status.

TEXTILE WASTE
In the creation, production, marketing, and disposal of clothing, there exists an opportunity to improve the care of the planet and the soul of the individual. In an endless search for newness, Americans consume resources for the creation of more, regardless of the fact that we exist amongst a fantastic surplus. This is easily seen in the amount of textile waste produced in the US. It currently comprises 4.5% of residential waste created. Each American is responsible for approximately 35 pounds, totaling 8.75 billion pounds per year. Fifty percent of the textiles consumed and discarded are made from synthetic fibers that are produced from oil, which has a negative effect on the Earth.

FASHION INDUSTRY & BRANDING
This cycle is perpetuated, in part, by the fashion industry, which encourages the purchase of new goods through a constantly changing vision of what is in style. Through advertising we are asked to view shopping as a creative endeavor, when in actuality it is only the designers who play a creative role in the process. The consumers creativity is simply in the selection. The consumer interprets styles, and this is the means to express their own uniqueness. The craft involved in the making of clothing, once viewed as a creative endeavor, is now left to the machine, which manufactures most of the clothing made today. The average person is ill-equipped for sewing, and distant from the creative process due to lack exposure and experience. After goods are purchased, consumers become advertising billboards as they tote logos and labels on all areas of the body. Branding, in its current form, creates distinct social divisions. Labels broadcast the spending power of the individual. This separates consumers into categories that reflect the size of their wallet rather than the expanse of their creativity.

CHARITY
Left over clothing is donated to shelters in each city that hosts a swap.

CREATING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
Swap-O-Rama-Rama has no staff. Each event recruits local artists to bring skills and ideas to their own community. In this way the event brings together diverse creatives under a common idea which lasts well after the event is completed.

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