They exchanged a problem for the entire community for a crowdsourcing solution.
After seeing complaints online about how difficult it can be to download unwanted clothing in Juneau, a group of women leads recurring clothing exchanges. They are for people who are not available for the delivery times of the second-hand store, whose garments worn with care do not meet the shipping standards or who simply prefer to change them.
"I think it was a meme," organizer Amelia Jenkins said in a Saturday exchange that attracted more than 100 people. "People complained online how hard it is to get rid of clothes here."
Like many local peculiarities, that challenge is linked to Juneau being a de facto island. There are a limited number of places that accept second-hand clothes, and those places have specific times to leave them.
Jenkins said she knew that clothing exchanges, which allowed people to choose between a group of clothes in exchange for a person delivering their clothes in the pool, are already popular with groups of friends, so she and the organizer of exchanges Miranda McCarty decided to expand the concept of clothing exchange. to an event at community level.
"We think why not do it on a larger scale, where things are not exchanged with the same friends," Jenkins said.
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A women's clothing exchange on Saturday, the second exchange led by Jenkins, McCarty and volunteers Monika Kunat and Rachel Byrd, at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library attracted more than 100 people and kept the volunteers busy sorting out the clothes and keeping tables and shelves in order.
The co-organizers of the exchange, Monika Kunat and Miranda McCarty, talk while they process the clothes for the volunteers to process in the community's clothes exchange on Saturday, November 9. While the exchange has less strict guidelines than most consignment shops, the clothes are still expected to be clean and in good condition. Good condition, organizers said. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)
"We were waiting for more people," Kunat said. "Anyone who wants to help next time, we probably need more help."
The best way to volunteer is to communicate through the Community Clothing Swap Facebook page, volunteers said. More exchanges are planned, and there are some ideas to expand the reach beyond women's clothing.
"We've been thinking about making one for the kids," McCarty said. "Maybe things outdoors."
While the crowd was not unexpected, the school of shoulder-to-shoulder exchangers that filled the library's conference room exceeded expectations, organizers said.
An exchange of community clothing attracted more than 100 people to the Mendenhall Valley Public Library on Saturday, November 9 (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)
Near the beginning of the exchange, the conference room of the library that housed the exchange was filled with a crowded crowd.
Attendees said they mostly heard about the event through Facebook, where it was promoted by Byrd.
"I thought it would be fun," said Paula Hubert
She said she was motivated primarily to change the charm of changing the contents of her closet. Others were more interested in what they could get rid of what they could acquire.
"I had a lot of clothes to get rid of," Devon West said.
West said it can be difficult to find time to leave the items during the assigned times, and the shipping requirements sometimes mean that you are stuck with what you have if you don't want to throw it away.
"Here, I know they will take most if not all of my things," said West. "This makes it much more fun."
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Jenkins said that when she saw the amount of clothes left on Saturday, she was nervous because people would be more interested in unloading clothes than leaving with new clothes. However, as the event approached its second hour, the previously filled tables looked much busier.
The leftover clothing from the exchange is not intended for a landfill
Jenkins said the appropriate clothes would be sent to the Ladies of Alaska under the Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies (AWARE) account, that the warm clothes would be donated to the homeless shelter of Juneau and Glory Hall, and everything else would be donated to any organization that accepts that.
"It keeps clothes out of landfills and closets where they are only collecting dust," Jenkins said.
Shipping and Donation Time
Salvation Army: 10 a.m. at 6 p.m. Saturdays during winter hours;
St. Vincent de Paul thrift store: 10-11 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Alaskan ladies: accepts freshly laundered clothing in excellent condition at its 1900 Crest St. location from 11 a.m. at 4 p.m. Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. at 4 p.m. Saturdays and noon-3 p.m. Sundays
Tot2Teen: This consignment and resale shop at Mendenhall Mall accepts returns from 10 a.m. at 8 p.m. Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. at 6 p.m. Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays
• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.