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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Clothing Swap brings students together and encourages sustainability on campus

The Associated Students Environmental Resource Center hosted this year’s first Clothing Swap for all of the SFSU community
Ryosuke Kojima
Brittany Hernandez, student director of the Environmental Resource Center, and her fellow staff talk with a student about environmental issues at the Open House event held at Malcolm X Plaza on campus in San Francisco, Calif. on Sept. 26, 2023. (Ryosuke Kojima/ Golden Gate Xpress)

On the terrace floor of the Cesar Chavez Student Center, room T121, decorated with vines around its door frame, serves as the home of the Environmental Resource Center (ERC). Just outside at Malcolm X Plaza, students congregated around tables, sifting through donated clothing from fellow students as the ERC marked the start of the semester with its inaugural Clothing Swap event on Sept. 26.

Brittany Hernandez, the student director of the ERC, is continuing the legacy project of the Clothing Swap for other students to enjoy. The Clothing Swap was started by both the Queer and Trans Resource Center (QTRC) and the ERC, providing students the opportunity to donate and collect clothing.

“I was walking by. I grabbed some [clothes]… it’s a really cool idea,” said Evie Pengilley, a second-year student at San Francisco State University. “I also think they should pick up the piles of clothes people leave in the laundry for weeks for some reason. I live on campus right now and people just leave laundry everywhere like socks, jeans, there’s piles and they have not picked them up, so I was like ‘Oh they can add that.’”

First-year student Daniel Roberson stumbled upon the Clothing Swap while he was skating by the area.

“This is great. I’m broke and trying to get new pants, I got a couple of pairs of pants and found this interesting shirt,” Roberson said. “This is probably one of the best things you can do for the environment. We have fast fashion and always have a bunch of stuff going into landfills all the time. If you can donate and let someone else have some clothes that you’re not using anymore, it’s perfect.”

Multiple tables from Associated Students were set up in the quad. Programs such as the QTRC, the Legal Resource Center and more all gathered to promote their services.

Students take a look at donated clothing at the Environmental Resource Center booth at the Open House event held at Malcolm X Plaza on campus in San Francisco, Calif. on Sept. 26, 2023. (Ryosuke Kojima/ Golden Gate Xpress)
(Ryosuke Kojima)

“We decided to host this event to just really talk about what the Environmental Resource Center does on a day-to-day basis,” Hernandez said. “This event was really created for the students just to stop by and really understand all the partners that we have… just building that community and building that collaboration I think is really exciting.”

According to Hernandez, the Clothing Swap has been going on for approximately five years and is always hosted in collaboration with the QTRC.

“We give people the opportunity to express themselves as much as possible with free clothing,” Hernandez said.

When it comes to any clothing that is left after the event, the ERC and QTRC like to get creative.
Hernandez said that last year, someone from the ERC took the jeans that were leftover from the school’s fashion department and made them into tote bags. At the following Clothing Swap, those tote bags were given out to students. The ERC will also take any leftover clothes to Goodwill or find ways to repurpose them.

The ERC eliminates paper waste by promoting most of its events and projects through social media.

Students who have questions or are interested in getting involved are invited to reach out via Instagram or stop by the ERC’s office.

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About the Contributors
Michelle Ruano Arreola
Michelle Ruano Arreola, Staff Reporter
Michelle Ruano (she/her) is a reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. Though she is from Hayward, CA, she currently resides in San Francisco. She is a journalism major focusing on online print and a minor in Special Education. She has previously interned for YR Media in Oakland, CA. Outside school, she loves playing video games with her friends and attending live music shows.
Ryosuke Kojima
Ryosuke Kojima, Photographer
Ryosuke Kojima (he/him) is a photographer for the Golden Gate Xpress and Xpress Magazine, majoring in photojournalism and minoring in sociology. Growing up in southern California and Japan, Ryo is an avid fan of various sports, the outdoors, backpacking, film photography, and more. In his free time, you can catch him hanging out with friends, skating, shooting film, or on the golf course.

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