Encouraging Sustainable Fashion on a University Campus


Encouraging Sustainable Fashion on a University Campus



Jillian DeWitt, Jenn Hoody, Hannah Nicholas, Emily Shanahan



The fast fashion industry has made it the norm to rely on cheap clothes with short lifetimes. This has resulted in extremely low wages for garment workers, inhumane working conditions in factories, and an increased amount of clothing waste. As awareness of these unethical and unsustainable practices has increased, more people are turning toward ethically sourced and produced clothing as well as secondhand clothing. Secondhand clothing has become particularly popular among college students who are always on the lookout for ways to save money. Thus, the University of Dayton’s Fair Trade Coalition organized what is now an annual “Clothing Swap.” Leading up to the event, students are able to drop-off old and unwanted clothing. Then, during the Clothing Swap, they are able to “shop” for clothes other students contributed, enjoy Fair Trade coffee, and learn about the impact of the fashion industry and Fair Trade through informational posters and table tents throughout the space that display statistics, facts and discussion questions to prompt dialogue. Additionally, the Fair Trade Coalition organizes the Clothing Swap in collaboration with other organizations to encourage, promote, and educate attendees on ways the university is implementing fair trade and ethical and sustainable practices campus-wide.The Clothing Swap demonstrates one way the University of Dayton is committed to Fair Trade education and engagement as a Fair Trade designated University. It has shown to be a great way to engage and educate students on the human and environmental cost of the fashion industry, leverage other fair trade initiatives and products on campus, and encourage the university and student body to take action through consumer habits both on and off campus.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Tony Neil Talbott

Primary Advisor's Department

Human Rights Center


Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate Action

Encouraging Sustainable Fashion on a University Campus