Why the MUF&D clothing swap was a success and should be an annual event

By Carolyne Croy

On Monday, November 29, MUF&D (Miami University Fashion & Design) hosted the first organized clothing swap Miami University has ever seen. The biggest student organization at the university had been advertising for the event extensively around campus and on social media platforms, aiming to reach as many students as possible. Flyers were hung across campus, signs were strategically placed near shops and student hang out spots, and advertisements were shown on several social media platforms. All of their hard work paid off, as more than 600 items were donated to the event.

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Advertisement for the Clothing Swap      Photographer: Sophie Naumoff         Model: Olivia Bianco

MUF&D is known for their annual Fashion show which has been held each Spring for the past twelve years. Last year’s show, “A Modern Acropolis” was their largest show to date, and featured their longest runway yet. MUF&D has come a long way since their establishment in 2006, gaining sponsors such as Aveda, helping create a fashion minor at Miami University, and being voted the Best Student Organization at Miami University in 2018.

So why did it take 12 years for such an amazing and successful event to take place? Well, a new focus for MUF&D is working towards sustainability, and the Clothing Swap was the first project initiating this new principle. When I asked for information about the swap, Alexandra Bogut, a leader of the PR/Marketing Committee for MUF&D described the event and the hopes that MUF&D expressed for its success.

“The clothing swap is an innovative way to reduce the environmental impact of our clothing. It is also a great way for college students to get new clothes without having to spend money. This process begins with students bringing in lightly worn clothes, either before or when you arrive at the event. Once you drop off the clothes you no longer want, you will receive tickets in place. These tickets can then be used to “buy” clothing items and accessories that other people have brought it. There will be fitting rooms set up to make sure you love the items and the fit before leaving! Once you find items you like, you go to the check out table and hand them the tickets. You now have new items to incorporate into your wardrobe! Also note, the first 100 people to arrive at the event and swap will receive a special MUF&D tote bag.”
I was one of the first 100 people at the event, I got there early with the hopes of getting one of the adorable totes I saw on the MUF&D Instagram page (see picture below). As one of the first people to arrive, I could immediately tell the Clothing Swap was going to be a hit. The decorations were classy and chic, there were dozens of students already lined up with bags full of clothes to donate, and everyone there had the same excited look on their faces.

Even though I was one of the first in line, the process for dropping off my clothing and getting into the swap was seamless. The committee leaders running the event included MUF&D president, Rachael Steed.  Rachael and everyone else running the clothing drop off were welcoming and enthusiastic with all the students. Their calm and appreciative demeanor was contagious and made the crowd and the event itself swell with excitement.

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I donated a jacket, a sweater, and a pair of pants, earning me eight tickets to spend. The ticket system worked well and a ‘cheat sheet’ was passed out to everyone participating. The ‘cheat sheet’ described the value of every item which was very helpful when shopping and helped the whole process run smoothly for both the shoppers and those running the Clothing Swap.

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Clothing was organized by size. Tables held pants, skirts, and sweaters while blouses, jackets, and dresses were hung on racks. As pieces were chosen, volunteers brought out new pieces to keep the tables and racks well stocked and with plenty of apparel to choose from.

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While the majority of the clothing donated was women’s clothing, several racks were holding men’s clothing as well, such as dress shirts and jackets. An accessories table sat in the center of the room and included scarves, hats, and statement jewelry.

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The event had a great turnout, and there were more than 600 items to choose from, MUF&D utilized their space perfectly, and I never once felt crowded. The shoppers and volunteers moved swiftly about the room, trying on outfits in home-made dressing rooms that were better put together than dressing rooms in some boutiques if you ask me.

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Here’s to another successful event hosted by MUF&D. The event was successful because of the ample advertisement through social media and by print advertising across campus. The event was open to all students, which brought in great numbers and allowed any items not swapped at the end of the night to be given to charity. I hope to attend many more events hosted by MUF&D throughout my next four years at Miami University, and I hope Clothing Swaps are in their plans for the future.