Earth Day: Walker Tribeca Hotel To Undertake Sustainable Fashion ‘SwapAteria’

With the entire world having switched over to basic survival mode a year ago, so much environmental idealism and ideology was put on hold, in favor of focusing on just staying alive from day to day. But as we begin to peek out from our quarantine positions, it’s a good time to consider that if we’re going to survive a little longer on this planet, we have to make it a sustainable one.

Fashion, of course, had come under a great deal of fire for its many irresponsible practices, with efforts to correct that situation still being undertaken in fairly haphazard ways. But the small-yet-determined Walker Hotels is rolling out locally-focused efforts that will surely have a wider resonance, with its month-long Room To Grow program – one of which is specifically related to sartorial responsibility. Indeed, this Earth Day, April 22, the Walker Tribeca (sister to the Walker Greenwich Village and Marram Montauk) will hold a “SwapAteria,” in partnership with Global Fashion Exchange – allowing guests and local New Yorkers to pop in and swap their fashion items, as an alternative to just discarding them.

The event will take over the entire second floor, with guest rooms being reimagined as “swap closets,” featuring curated vintage collections and second-hand items from the likes of Model Mafia, Maison Murasaki, The Canvas, Carmen Gama + Carolina Bedoya: MAKE ANEEW, Re: Tailors Manocha Bespoke X Georgie, Now for Tomorrow, and countless others. It will also be pegged to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 global goals designed as a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”…and seeking to educate the public on the consequences of unchecked consumerism.

Swap Shop at The Canvas by Querencia, Antwerp

Global Fashion Exchange was founded in 2013 by New York fashion icon/impresario Patrick Duffy, with the mission of empowering brands and citizens to take a more conscious approach to fashion. The program is supported by The OR Foundation, and the New York City Fair Trade Coalition.

“This is our first hotel partnership,” he enthuses, “and furthers our mission to bring swapping to the masses, offering a unique opportunity to change how we engage with fashion. On average, every American throws away seventy pounds of clothing and textiles a year, but up to 95 percent of textiles could be recycled. SwapAteria is a beautiful intersection of both our mission and that of Walker Hotels – a collective action to give back.”

GFE will also roll out The SwapChain, using Blockchain technology to offer traceability and accountability amongst swappers anywhere in the world, with a real-time tracking system that shows the entire history of the garment.

“Our mission brand-wide is to give back to and grow our community,” says Atit Jariwala, Founder and CEO of Bridgeton Holdings, which owns Walker Hotels. “For us, it’s about the small gestures that focus on the community’s collective wellbeing. A Room to Grow is our way of welcoming our neighbors through our doors to engage with them on a personal level – events that give back to people and the planet.”

And following thirteen months of lockdown and isolation, community wellbeing seems to be just the sort of noble and idealistic goal that we need to be working towards right now.

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