This article was written for Fethiye Times by Sian Midgley,

As many of you are aware, fast fashion is now the third biggest pollutant in the world primarily due to it’s negative environmental impact, the use of toxic chemicals and the increasing amount of textile waste.

Prior to watching Stacey Dooley’s  BBC Documentary ‘The Shocking Truth About Fashion’ I was one of the many who, during visits back to the UK, would hurtle around Primark stocking up on vest tops, t-shirts, shorts and the like, leaving just enough room in my suitcase to squeeze in a box of Yorkshire Tea.

But things needed to change so the team behind the Sustainable Living in Fethiye Facebook page (of which I am one) organised a Clothes Exchange in Çalış in November 2018. What none of us could foresee was exactly how popular this would end up being. So much so that last Saturday we held our fifth event in as many months, again in Çalış, after also holding similar events in Üzümlü, Fethiye and Hisarönü.

What is a clothes exchange?

The idea behind a Clothes Exchange is that you bring along good quality clothes, shoes, handbags etc, that you no longer want. You are given tokens in exchange for these which you can then ‘spend’ on other items that catch your eye. You don’t have to spend all your tokens at one event either – just put them somewhere safe and bring them along next time. A great way to help the environment, refresh your wardrobe and save money all at the same time.

This past weekend’s event at Cafe Soul saw record numbers of attendees with clothes flying in and out of the venue at such speed that the dedicated volunteers could barely keep up – it really did give a new meaning to the words ‘Fast Fashion’! Plus, thanks to people’s generosity, we were also able to donate some baby clothes to the Syrian Refugee group (RAF) and some adult clothes to Hayed who were holding their own Table Top just a few doors away. In previous months we’ve also donated to the 3C’s, FIG, ACU, Uzumlu Women’s Group & Animal Aid Ovacık, Hisarönü, Kayaköy and Ölüdeniz.

Fast Fashion With A Difference

Our final Clothes Exchange before a summer break will be in Üzümlü. To make sure you don’t miss  out on the date announcement and to find out how else you can help the environment, both locally and globally, join our Sustainable Living in Fethiye Facebook page now.

Sian Midgley moved to Fethiye from the UK in 2013. She’s previously been involved with 3Cs, Animal Aid (now Hayed) and the Çatalarık Kedi Evi. Now she jointly runs the Sustainable Living in Fethiye Facebook page where people ask questions and give advice on how to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.Having discovered a love of the outdoors in recent years, more often than not, you’ll find her cycling or walking around the local villages or participating in various fitness classes. In her downtime, she likes nothing more than to be at home with her three pets, including her 4 year-old rescue dog who she openly admits is the love of her life.