Sustainable Fashion Community Center | VIDEO

Recently, I sat down with NYC Fair Trade Coalition chair Andrea Reyes for a thought-provoking discussion on sustainability myths. The conversation challenged my own thinking about sustainability, and I know it will do the same for you. Keep an eye out for the podcast, which just dropped in both audio and video form.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some information on one of Andrea’s initiatives, the NYC Fair Trade Coalition’s Sustainable Fashion Community Center (SFCC) in East Harlem. I had the opportunity to stop in for a tour, and I was blown away by all of the good stuff happening there. It is a truly inspiring initiative!

About the Sustainable Fashion Community Center

A grassroots organization, the NYC Fair Trade Coalition promotes fair trade businesses and retailers in NYC while also educating consumers on why fair trade is important. The Sustainable Fashion Community Center gives people the opportunity to start living these learnings through robust programming including clothing (and plant!) swaps, workshops (in-person and virtual), sales events led by members, a gift shop, a photo studio, and more.

When I say the joint is jumping, I mean it. During my visit, the Sustainable Fashion Community Center was buzzing with members of the community who were there swapping clothing, sharing stories, connecting, and learning about fair trade and sustainable fashion.

Keeping the Sustainable Fashion Community Center up and running is no small endeavor, but Andrea has assembled an amazing team of roughly a dozen motivated college interns who not only volunteer their time, but also their unique talents to the effort. One intern, Rich, is interning while studying filmmaking. In addition to giving us our tour, he helped out with our own photo and video shoot. Another intern is a communications major who’s currently doing outreach and inventory management for the Sustainable Fashion Community Center. If they’re our future, we’re in good hands.

 
 

Thrifting, Learning, and More

If your wardrobe needs a pick-me-up, there’s no better way to make some space in your closet for new-to-you threads than by shopping (and swapping) at the Sustainable Fashion Community Center. Or, check out one of the weekly workshops on everything from embroidery to style. Movie nights, salons, and product feedback events are also among the Sustainable Fashion Community Center’s many offerings.

While you’re there, make sure to check out the upstairs gift shop, which features products ranging from fair-trade coffee to beautiful handbags handcrafted in Uganda out of upcycled packaging straps collected from local mattress factories.

Have a small business of your own with products to showcase? Schedule a half-day or full-day photo shoot. You can even book the Pop-Up at the gift shop for a day as a venue.

With tons of resources designed to not only help the business and individual members of the coalition but also the community at large, the Sustainable Fashion Community Center is the ultimate lesson in our collective power. We can do it, and it’s a whole lot more fun when we do it together.

Whether you’re a seasoned thrifter or you’re just starting to think about how you can be more sustainable in your fashion choices, the SFCC is for YOU. Go here to grab your “Swap Shop Pass” or to register for another event at the Center.
 

Click here to listen to the first episode of the New York City Fair Trade Coalition Podcast, NYC FTC POD Top 5 Sustainability Myths featuring both myself, and Andrea Reyes, NYC FTC Chair.

Kind regards, Scott

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