The Good Loop Clothing Swap debuts as pop-up shop at Westfield UTC

The Good Loop Clothing Swap debuts as pop-up shop at Westfield UTC
Image by Emily Ito for The UCSD Guardian

In honor of Earth Month, The Good Loop clothing swap debuted their first pop-up shop at Westfield UTC for The Westfield Good Festival. The Good Festival is an annual event that runs from April 25-28 and is focused on sustainability and wellness. The Good Loop opened a storefront that allowed attendees to bring in their gently-loved clothes and swap with others in their community. The Good Loop partnered with several other sustainable brands to bring a curated experience to swappers, with drinks, snacks, and other goodies offered. 

The central theme for the festival and the foundation of The Good Loop is the idea of sustainability-meets-fashion. Makenzie Lowe, founder of The Good Loop clothing swap as well as a UC San Diego alum, elaborated on the goal behind the event.

“I started it back in 2019 with the intention of making sustainable shopping accessible to the community by making a price point that is free,” Lowe said. “So there are no barriers to participating in sustainable consumption or the sustainable movement.” 

Swappers go in, bring 10 items or less, and The Good Loop team counts and hangs the items to be swapped. One then shops the racks, taking out up to as many items as they brought in. Simple as that. But it’s not just an in-and-out thing; swapping there was an experience. 

It was a cozy atmosphere, with a lounge created by Room & Board and a mood set by DJ Kevin. Also, available in-store were local sustainable brands like Large Lemonade’s custom embroidery and Kove with their canned craft cocktails. (I myself enjoyed one of these cocktails. Let me just say it was a whopping 10/10.)

I went to the VIP event on April 24, and boy, were the finds good. Hannah Stacey, a San Diego influencer, was happy with what people brought, citing “you know how those rompers are in? I got these cute little fluffy bloomers that are cheeky and really cute.”  

Another San Diego influencer, Lauryn Hock, was really excited to swap clothes.

“I had a lot of things piled up in my room to swap and I wanted to revive my closet,” she said.

Revive. A free opportunity to refresh the closet without wasting it. Important to note is that all the clothes not taken are to be donated to the local shelter at the end of the day. As Lowe explains, “It’s all about reciprocity and closing the clothing loop.”

An opportunity to sustainably enjoy fashion and shop without the cost nor waste that’s what The Good Loop is promoting. It was a community event about clothing going closet-to-closet as opposed to closet-to-landfill. 

But enough with the formalities, what did I get, you ask? I was surprised by how good the items that people brought in were. My haul included a Paul Frank knitted zip-up from the closet of my friend and fellow lifestyle writer, Leah Schiffer. Also included were a couple of skirts and a number of knitted sweaters, all of which I got for free while getting rid of the clothes that were collecting dust in the corner of my closet. 

The experience was welcoming and warm, offering the pleasure of shopping without the guilt of spending money and contributing to the waste problem. In essence, a free thrift store, this clothing swap was not only an exchange of clothes but a shared place for community and collectivity.

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