Swap clothes instead of buying new and make them last longer. This is the philosophy behind the first trade fair festival in the city of Kolding. Several hundred participants turned up in August 2013 for the opening. With no money but loaded with clothes and shoes they were ready to swap by a one-for-one principle – a pair of jeans swapped with another.
At the trade fair you can only exchange items within the same category. It is not possible swap a children’s snowsuit for a necklace or a tunic.
When you arrive you will get vouchers equivalent to the category and quantity of what is being delivered. There is no limit to the amount of items you can bring to the trade fair festival. All the remaining clothes from the trade fair festival in Kolding were donated to recycling.
The trade festival will be repeated in 2014 and the recipe for replicating the event elsewhere is simple: Find a local venue, round up some volunteers, promote the trade fair festival and be ready on the day with tables, clothes racks, coffee etc.
The trade fair festival is just one of a growing number of similar trade fairs in Denmark. The basic idea behind the concept is to stimulate a transition from a buy-and-throw-away culture to a cradle to cradle culture where clothes, electronics, goods, etc. can be reused and thus decrease the demand and constant flow and consumption of new resources.