Photo courtesy of Facebook event
Sewanee’s Community Engagement House is one of the campus’ most thriving, ambitious, and energetic places for Sewanee students to live. The organization has more than earned its keep over the years by connecting the students of Sewanee with local Sewanee/Franklin county community members and the culture that makes so much of the town’s atmosphere feel like that of a family. Continuing their 201415 mantra of “togetherness”, the CoHo hosted a clothing swap party featuring Patagonia, Inc.’s “Worn Wear” documentary film on beautiful display for all the attendees of the event. The documentary presents itself as a story not just about the clothes we wear on our backs, but also the stories embedded in them. current notion of hand-me-downs. In the words of presenter Mary Ottley (C’15), “One of the film’s stories shows a man who wore his shorts out to the point of them requiring a new ‘ass end’ made out of a used beach umbrella blanket.” Another story followed a New Hampshire mother who passes down bibs from her grown children to her nieces and nephews for them to pass down to their own newborn children. The whole idea of “Worn Wear” is to cultivate a mindset that goes beyond our country’s on our culture’s obsession with fashion-related “getting pumped about other people’s clothes” is the beginning of saving an incredible amount of labor and precious resources while possibly coming home with a new wardrobe in the process.
After the screening of Patagonia’s movie, the very positive floor of the CoHo was opened up for questions and discussion. Students shared views consumerism. The verdict from the discussion came down to two central ideas: the purchasing of used clothing is incredibly responsible, and college students like the ones at “Worn Wear” can share this movement with tenacity and even begin to counteract consumeristic monoliths like “Black Friday.” April of The Hospitality House informed students at “Worn Wear” of the third-world aspects and difficulties of Grundy County. Grundy County is a very different area from the Sewanee campus but is not far from The Mountain’s city limits. Used clothing is already popular in Grundy, but even so, an abundance of unwanted clothing from the area ends up being transported to landfills in Thailand. April wants Sewanee students to know that a few hours of volunteering at the Grundy County Clothing Bank does a great deal of good for the choosing. Blouses, sweaters, shorts and decorative community.
Making sure that used clothes are put to efficient use can lead to a boost in the local cottage industry, which in turn can develop a melding of productivity with creativity. Potentially, it could provide amazing opportunities for young people to have careers in areas they wouldn’t have normally pursued. Towards the end of the CoHo’s event, students went outside to pick out used clothing of their tees were hung on lines and displayed on the CoHo’s porch. If there’s one thing to take away from “Worn Wear” it’s this: wearing used or “lived-in” clothing is not a negative symbol or indication of poor socioeconomic status, but rather a bright red, recyclable flag connecting kindred spirits with each other every day.
As Henry David Thoreau said, “Beware of any endeavor that requires new clothes.”