Friday, 17 December 2010

Swap NOT Shop - no logo (Q&A)

Why no labels? Don't they add something to the id of the garment?
Sure they do! Don't get us wrong here: we do support concepts and ideas that lie beneath labels, and we are well - aware that the quality of designer clothes is worth-the-price. However, we have spotted that for some people a label is an end in itself: they tend to buy a labelled piece for the ...label and not for the piece itself. They tend to give more importance to what is written on the garment than whether they actually do like it.

We also came up with the No Logo-ed edition because we want to give space to new & upcoming designers and creations. We want to provide them with equal opportunities. After all, Swap not Shop! parties are a non-currency exchange act. Its thus crucial to pick your piece because it stood out of the crowd ...for you. What's unique about Sns is that clothes are all over the place without carrying any currency connotation.

We want you to see something -if not yourself- in the piece you picked. After all, it is you who picked it from the pile, your eye that was caught, you thought it were unique and therefore loved it. A non-stereotypical love-at-first-sight kind of thing :)

What has changed from the first SNS party and what is the ideal goal you'd like to reach?
The first SNS party just ...happened. It was a goal-free summer initiative that took place in a terrace amongst more or less 30 people. It has now become a small -we dare to say- anti-consumerist act. During recession times, it might as well seem like a need. But we didn't plan the 600 people approximate attendance. And we definitely did not plan the recession.

So, yeah, there is no certain "goal", in the "reaching a level" meaning. If we could wish of something, that would be SnS parties to set themselves free. We do not feel they belong to us, in the same way that we do not believe in ownership in the first place. SnS parties belong to their clothes, to the people who love them and to feel-good afternoons in the city. We wish they continue to exist and happen, do their own thing you know. Anyone can embrace, we don't have to "be" there. Swapping and sharing is a way of living.
Some people say there's no point in taking the time to swap or give away since large chains sell new clothes so cheap today. What would you say to this?
In fact, this is exactly where we see the point: due to the tremendous amount of high end very cheap clothes people indulge to out-of-control purchases, which leads to the loss of creativity and diy potential. Not to mention that the recourses needed for their huge production is massively non-ethical. We still shop from large chains ourselves sometimes, but we've reached that point where we think twice the "do I really need this?" question.

We also came to realise that only when a piece is either very expensive or completely cost-free, we do actually chose it. If buying a tee equals to buying a cup of coffee, you don't really think about the purchase now do you? You add it in your closet and end up wearing it a few times, if not only once.

Which is exactly the reason why it all started: we have long been after a way to give a new life to all these pieces of clothing that have somehow ended in our closet. SnS parties are not only about getting more clothes - they are about giving away those you love still no more wear. Last but not least, Sns parties are not swapping per se, they're good fun!

What's the greatest lesson you've learned from organizing SNS parties so far?
The circulation of love. We know this might sound cheesy - if not a cliche, but if you think about it, what else do we need? Love can replace anything. We saw in practice that no matter how bad the mood in the city has been and how suspicious people were, they do embrace positive vibes and react to them beyond expectation. People share the love! And we can actually see it: it comes back as a smile, a diy-ed head band, your beloved tee fitted perfectly on another body...
*This Sunday, swapping will also take place in Thessaloniki:
More info at Life in Athens and Clemmie & Melroy and of course

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