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Whistler clothing swap lets you rework your wardrobe for Earth Day

Recycle, reuse, donate, feel good
SWAP TILL YOUI DROP Clothing and accessories and shoes are all up for grabs at the AWARE Earth Day Clothes Swap at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Thursday, April 21, starting at 4 p.m. photo courtesy of AWARE

Kim Kardashian could take a lesson from the AWARE Earth Day Clothes Swap: De-clutter, pass on your fave outfits to someone who'll make better use of them, and contribute to a cause that'll make you feel like a million bucks.

Luckily Kardashian is not on the radar here, and we are spared the fur-trimmed ensembles, sky-high stilettoes and weighty bling that would look out of place in Whistler anyway. But there's something for everyone at the clothing swap that has grown from a few dozen attendees to upwards of 100 last year.

"That's the interesting thing about taking clothes that you no longer love and giving them to someone who will adore them - we're looking for a way to bring people together. This is an obvious fit to celebrate Earth Day," said Claire Ruddy, Executive Director of AWARE (Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment). Earth Day is Friday, April 22.

If you need convincing, consider this: Some of those items you buy that are made in China are from factories that are routinely violating environmental regulations. notes that as of 2012, there were 6,000 such violations. Or, consider this gem from The Atlantic in 2014: Americans now buy five times as much clothing as they did in 1980 - as much as 80 billion new pieces of clothing each year.

It is ironic, seemingly, that we carry our personal coffee cups every day in order to make a difference, and we religiously compost, but we do so in one of something like 10 pairs of jeans and a pair of shoes from a collection that can total more than a dozen.

"Clothes are seen as so disposable," said Ruddy. "I think there is a real push to de-clutter."

The average person, said Ruddy, has so many clothes to choose from that it can actually work against them - trying to choose from too many items takes time.

What you can expect at the clothing swap is a wide selection of items, including shoes and boots, and accessories, such as necklaces, earrings and scarves. Last year was also the debut of donated men's clothing.

As well as the clothing swap, AWARE has organized a Father Daughter Dance Dress Swap from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. where participants can swap dresses, shoes and accessories for the big event. There is also silent auction, the Earth Day pledge photo booth, and a vendor's lounge, where local artisans will be on hand selling environmentally conscious creations.

Last year, Ruddy says they raised $1,500, and women's executive-style clothes were donated to the non-profit Dress for Success initiative.

Bring your shoes, clothes and accessories to the event at the Chateau. Items should be clean and in good repair. Entry fee is $10 with swappable clothing, $20 if you don't bring any, and there is a $5 discount for AWARE members. Go to for more information.