DHS Environmental Council organizes dress swap to promote sustainable practices

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Graphic by Erin Pickert

Maggie Kroeger, Editor in Chief

The De Soto High School Environmental Council has recently began a new sustainability venture in the form of a dress swap event. To promote second hand clothing and give students an opportunity to save money, the Eco Club has created a dress trade program where students can bring in their old homecoming or prom dresses to trade them out with new ones, or simply donate them to the swap. 

The main idea behind the dress swap was creating as an opportunity to bring awareness to sustainability within DHS, as well as doing something fun that students would want to participate in. 

“Eco [Club] is always trying to find new ways that we can encourage the mindfulness of sustainability, and this includes fast fashion,” said Eco Club president Aspen Grieshaber. 

Eco Club Leadership Team member Sydney Ames also feels that the dress swap promotes the goals of Eco Club as a whole. 

“We [Eco Club] wanted to find new ways to introduce students into a more eco-friendly way of life without being pushy or making anyone feel guilty,” Ames said. “The dress swap seemed like a perfect way to marry our goals of promoting steps toward sustainability and encouraging students to join or support the Environmental Council.” 

Another large factor behind the idea of the dress trade is the goal of combating fast fashion and the harm that it can cause the environment. 

“The concept of fast fashion permeates the clothing industry. We have been taught that re-wearing certain clothing, like homecoming or prom dresses, is wrong and the pre-owned clothing is somehow soiled,” Ames said. “The dress swap is meant to allow for these special-occasion dresses to be worn more than once, while showing participants the benefits that can come from second hand shopping, benefits for both your wallet and the environment.” 

Grieshaber also feels that the one-time usage of many special occasion dresses is not environmentally friendly.

“This [the dress swap] is extremely important because several girls will buy a new dress for every dance and only wear it once. If everyone were to do this all the time, so many clothes would be wasted,” Grieshaber said. “Many of these dresses are also not manufactured very environmentally friendly, so that can also have a big impact on the buying of dresses.” 

Eco Club has been taking dresses for the swap since Monday, and will continue to take them through Monday, March 9. Anyone is able to participate in this event, and the actual swap will take place on Tuesday, March 10. According to Ames, when students donate, their donation will be recorded and then automatically be registered to take part in the dress swap. However many dresses a student brings is the amount that the student will be able to leave with, but there is a three-dress cap on the day of the swap. The day following the dress swap, on March 11, dresses will be sold for around $5, with proceeds benefiting the Eco Club’s beehive and compost initiatives. Dresses can be brought to science teacher Kylee Sharp’s room before school, preferably with hangers. For more information, students can visit the Eco Club’s Instagram, @dhseco.