The Rack event was very busy. Naomi Pahl
I went to my first clothes swap when I was 12. Everyone from the community brought their bags of clothes to the league hall and dumped them out on the appropriate labeled table. I remember there weren’t a lot of clothes my size, but the event was buzzing with excitement while all the ladies shopped in each others “closets.”
Over the years, I have attended and hosted numerous swaps on a smaller scale and have always enjoyed the camaraderie that comes along with enjoying a free fashion party with friends.
When I was introduced to Diana, the Event Coordinator for Studio 96, it was with the idea that we would co-host a free women’s clothing swap out of the Studio. Diana, a long time fashion lover, had the idea of putting together a city wide swap with a “boutique feel” and calling it The Rack. I was on board immediately.
We put our heads together and decided that our overarching vision was to use this free clothing event to connect and empower women. We also wanted to focus on offering Edmonton a viable alternative to the fast fashion industry, which has a terrible record for human rights violations and environmental destruction.
Over the course of a month and a half, we collected clothes from around 150 women from all over the city. Every week for five weeks, in the basement of Studio 96, we assembled a team of volunteers and assessed and sorted the clothes. This idea really caught fire on Facebook and before we knew it we had close to 2000 people interested in learning more about the event and 300 people registered to attend.
The three days before the event, Diana and I, along with a team of incredibly devoted volunteers, worked day and night to prepare Studio 96 for the impending fashion frenzy.
The doors opened at 10 a.m. on November 4 and the rush was on! The cost of brunch and the cover charge were generously provided by the McCauley Revitalization initiative. We had over 30 volunteers, 16 artisan and vendor tables, and in total we had over 350 swappers come through the doors!
From the beginning of the day to end, we felt that everyone left thrilled with their fashion finds! The incredible response to this swap is a clear indication that Edmonton needs an ongoing commitment to connecting women in this way, and we are delighted to offer another swap this coming spring!
To stay up to date on all the details for the spring swap, please like and follow “The Rack at Studio 96” on Facebook!