Jahanara Wendy Tremayne

“There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness.”


Swap-O-Rama-Rama is an egalitarian project, a giant clothing swap and series of do-it-yourself (DIY) workshops in which communities explore reuse through the reconstruction of used clothing. Swap-O-Rama-Rama’s are making their way around the world one community at a time.

Everybody brings one bag of unwanted clothing to create a giant pile-the unwanted clothing of all who attend. Everyone dives in and finds their “new” used items-it’s all free. Sewing stations, DIY stations and workshops offer numerous ways to transform the garments. A silk screen station offers many amazing designs that immediately add life to any old garment. A fashion runway features the silly and the sophisticated. All are invited to take a playful spin in their most fabulous finds and creations. Before hitting the street in new recycled clothes from the Swap-O-Rama-Rama, existing branding is covered with a new label, one that celebrates the community’s collective creativity rather than the brand of a corporation. Labels read: 100% Recycled or Modified by Me.

Swap-O-Rama-Rama utilizes the existing surplus of clothing to create new-recycled goods, without consuming raw materials. It helps each individual break down the barrier between consumer and creator and invites all to reclaim the creativity that has been lost to industry. Here objects are imbued with meaning as would-be trash is revivified and saved from being kicked to the curb. Re-branding clothing with self-celebratory labels lets us to see each other through shared creativity rather than through socio-economic status.

DIY work station at NYC event


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