Looking to refresh your summer wardrobe? Selden Market’s upcoming Clothing Swap is all about out with the old and in with the new-to-you.
“New” is a relative term, as, with any clothing swap, you’ll have the chance to breathe new life into someone’s beloved jeans or vintage tees. To participate, you can bring up to seven gently used clothing, shoes, or accessories for early dropoff (July 16th) or during the event (July 17th). In return, you’ll receive a ticket for up to seven swap items. Items will be reviewed for style, condition, and brand. The clothing swap will donate anything over the seven-item limit to 757 Community Closet– a nonprofit organization that provides essentials and mutual aid through free clothing and care kits to housed, unhoused, and transitioning folks. A range of styles and sizes are encouraged for donation- including kids, plus-sized, and men’s clothing to ensure there’s something for everyone.
The clothing swap is part of a larger celebration: Vintage Sundays. Started in 2018 by Selden Market, and co-hosted by Keo-Oudone Ramirez of KoR Vintage, this celebration transforms Selden Market into a goldmine of vintage, retro, and secondhand finds. Thrifters will find everything from clothing and jewelry to home decor, retro video games, and records, and can enjoy some booze, brunch, and live music while shopping. More recently, Selden Market Director, Careyann Weinberg, sought to build upon this buzz, and introduce an element of sustainability and community to her quarterly events. While the pandemic initially stalled her plans for a Selden Market Clothing swap, in early 2022, TheGarment2MyLens – a vintage clothing collaboration – joined the partnership to execute on Weinberg’s vision. Now, she “can’t wait to watch it grow as the 757 becomes familiar with the concept” and plans to continue the events as part of future Vintage Sundays.
This isn’t Selden’s first clothing swap. The previous one, in March, was wildly successful and collected an additional 3 XL boxes in clothing donations. The initiative represents a more significant trend towards clothing upcycling, as clothing swaps gained traction over the years through online platforms, Facebook groups, and re-sell apps (think: Poshmark and eBay). These secondhand shopping initiatives – ‘slow fashion’ – offer great promise against the threat of ‘fast fashion,’ a popular production strategy to produce high volumes of clothing as trends evolve.
In contrast to slow fashion’s socially responsible, environmentally-friendly nature, fast fashion is a resource-intensive, ethically questionable strategy, often characterized by exploitative labor practices and waste generation. Furthermore, the short-lived, disposable nature of fast fashion garments encourages excessive consumption – and consequently, excessive waste production. The EPA estimates the average person throws away 81 pounds of clothing per year, a concerning environmental impact that we could gradually mitigate through upcycling practices.
For those looking to participate, Selden Market’s clothing swap is not the only one of its kind. Hampton Roads boasts many events, organizations, and initiatives promoting efficient and eco-conscious clothing exchange while fostering community. Clothing swaps are often a way to push the creative boundaries of your closet, discover different styles and colors, and make fashion both affordable and accessible. Both supporters of this upcoming clothing swap, 757 Community Closet, and Garment2MyLens, exemplify this commitment to inclusivity, creativity, and community:
757 Community Closet:
In 2021, Hampton Roads native Brittany Jane began collecting clothing donations from all over the region and keeping them in a personal storage locker. She’d go city-to-city, picking it up and sorting it out, until the volume of operations warranted the need for a more formalized structure for collecting and distributing clothing donations. This past January, Jane developed 757 Community Closet in partnership with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Jordan-Newby food pantry in Norfolk. She sets up every Saturday during the food pantry’s operating hours. Additionally, she attends several pop-ups, such as the upcoming Selden Clothing Swap, to provide more opportunities to collect donations. All types of clothing are welcome – though Jane is focusing heavily on summer-appropriate items for the upcoming Selden swap.
KoR Vintage: KoR Vintage was founded in 2017 by Keo-Oudone Ramirez. A unique brand for the environment and fashion-conscious individuals, they no longer have a storefront in Selden Market but continue to join Vintage Sundays. Keo’s collection varies from time-less to unique to custom remodeled pieces that will make you the main character for any occasion.
The primary curators behind the Selden Market Clothing swap, husband-wife duo Marquisha and Kevin Johnson, join some of Norfolk’s top creatives to share their passion for unique style with the 757. Their collaboration features a particular appreciation for plus-sized fashion, vintage, thrift, and consignment, which they showcase through local pop-ups, an online marketplace, and photography. Kevin also owns a line of custom hand-painted denim, SirKevinYOUJeans, while Marquisha enjoys repurposing clothing through DIY projects and owns her own business, Francheska Louie’s Plus Size Vintage.
Talbot Park, NFK
Rachel Reiss moved to Norfolk in 2021, and, true to her native Floridian roots, has been enjoying life near the beach. Since her day job as an HR Program Manager has gone remote, it offers her the flexibility to explore the area’s rich history, culture, and diverse food scene in her spare time. She is also a passionate pianist, aspiring yogi, and self-proclaimed health nut who loves to cook. Rachel lives near Talbot Park with her husband, Phil - a CHKD resident - and their Maltese, Minnie.