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  • Writer's pictureSFI Blog Team

Creating Memories - The Black Market Photoshoot

Updated: Jan 6, 2019

Clothing swaps are becoming commonplace on college campuses across the US. They offer an attractive introduction to sustainability issues because, well, participation comes with *free* clothing and who wouldn’t be interested in trading in their unwanted clothing for something *new*? And the premise of a clothing swap is certainly not foreign to most students who likely find themselves sharing clothing with roomates.

But how can a swap lead to long-lasting change?

This was the challenge we set out to tackle through The Black Market clothing swap on November 15th. SFI has task forces dedicated to different areas and one of these task forces was focused on this event with the goal of making sustainable fashion behaviors like swapping and repair the new normal.

Sustainability is complex. It is about mindsets, practices and systems. Sustainability is a culture. It is not a product. You simply cannot BUY sustainability. It is not possible. Cultivating that kind of understanding takes time and requires that people coming to the Black Market experience fashion and sustainability in a new way. This is where the Live Photoshoot came in.

Sustainability is a culture. It is not a product. You simply cannot BUY sustainability.

The idea behind the photoshoot was to create memories and therefore encourage students to develop an emotional attachment to the objects they were swapping. It’s simple. We all have that one item in our closet that we would never get rid of because of what it means to us…because of the person who gave it to us or because the garment represents a place that is important to us. So how do we stimulate that kind of attachment?

We created a photoset with props and multiple backdrops where swappers could come to have their photo taken. Michelle (Meesh) Strauss worked with nyc-based photographer Charlie Engman and stylist Sarah Slutsky to create some fun fashion moments. Sarah challenged students to style clothing in new ways while Charlie and Meesh prompted people to pose with one another and to have some fun. Not everyone who came to The Black Market participated in the photoshoot but those who did certainly made memories.

Check out a small selection of the photos below and visit This Google Folder for all of the photos (kindly edited by the Meesh Strauss).

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