Design Your Space & Life with Lee

Design Your Space & Life with Lee

Eco-Exchange Rituals

The inspiration for my new Eco-Exchange Ritual event came in the dark of winter when I was looking for a beloved sweater.  And I could not find it amongst the other things I had in my tiny Spanish closet. While I was rummaging, I noticed A LOT of things in my closet that I no longer wore, nor did I have any inkling to wear them again anytime soon. So the idea just POPPED into my mind.
Those that know me well know that I adore a good fiesta, plus being an Eco-Advocate & Designer, I despise just throwing things away. I knew I had to be part of a bigger SOLUTION. So the CONCEPT of a Clothing Exchange Party was just such a natural next step for me!!! CAVA & CLOTHES: ECO-EXCHANGE was born!

An excuse for cava & being eco at the same time?! I’m in!

The irony of it was that the exact same week I was to host my very first Cava & Clothes: Eco Exchange, I was in the middle of decluttering my rental apartment from a rouge tenant that had left in a hurry, leaving behind a ton of clothes, junk, and muck – all for me to deal with. The Universe seemed to be confirming my path in a very literal manner! Watching my ex-tenant ruin her life through overconsumption, irrational behavior and lack of respect for herself, her stuff and my space – well it was a clear sign my instincts were spot on.

The mess she left was shocking! 

This experience, as many experiences throughout our lives, changed me. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on the things I believe in, and the choices I am making. It was a fulcrum moment for me, and it solidified my commitment to be the eco-design, eco-advocate and gentle eco-warrior in all areas of my life moving forward.
My new Eco Concept is simple (and FUN!!!)
It is simply to find an alternative option to repurposing the excess of clothing we all have in a fun, caring and community way.
It is really obvious to me after moving out of the USA, that we buy too many things, especially clothing. Do we really need 20+ pairs of jeans, 40+ t-shirts and 18+ pairs of shoes, 23+ sweaters, and a zillion scarfs? I realize we live in a consumeristic society and this is tough road to travel, breaking the trend. But I feel the time is NOW to do this. I strive to improve this in myself daily. It is a practice I continue to hone. Now I want to provide inspiration to those of you that wish to join me in this more mindful manner of living and to start honoring the things we own.

There is no such place as AWAY.

JOIN ME in this mini-eco-challenge.
So the steps below outline my Cava & Clothes: Eco Exchange, in the chance you want to host your very own ritual to start being the change you want to see in the world as well as just get rid of some stuff in a mindful way and make some much-needed space in your closets!!!
STEPS TO HOST YOUR OWN ECO-EXCHANGE
  • create a group of like-minded people, (I used WhatsApp to find my local crew that was interested in this),

Build a closer community with like-minded friends!

  • invite them to take a new look into their own closets, and invite them to purge their own clothes, footwear, jewelry, etc. that they no longer love to wear and are willing to part with to a worthy new owner,
  • ask them to ask the question: does this piece deserve to be with someone that will wear it and feel beautiful in it again? does it deserve to have a second life with another? And if they answer “yessss”, then it goes into the bag to bring along to the ritual,

Do I LOVE wearing this???

  • choose an evening for the event (or a weekend day, depending on your peeps) and send out invites,
  • ask those that can come to all bring their clothing bag to donate with them along with a bottle of whatever sparkles you desire, ( we had cava, of course, being in Spain!)
  • when everyone arrives, take the donations and lovingly arrange all the things people have brought to donate. Treat each of the items with the respect of a new item, holding it as something sacred a friend has given you. Make a kind of store, displaying all the things in a way people can see them, get access to them and touch them. Display them in a way you would do if you were trying to sell them, showing off their advantages.

Clothing & accessories draped over a bed is a perfect display…

  • after everyone has arrived, crack open a bottle of your beverage of choice, then I suggest a ritual of gratitude is shared, and some stories of the process of purging all shared, difficulties in letting go, the fun of making space, etc.  until you feel the time is right (or the Moon is Full as I did),
  • Light a candle, ring a bell, or in your own special way give thanks to the items being donated and let begin!

Giving a blessing or gratitude ritual to kick-start the ‘shopping’

  • then allow the ‘shopping’ to begin! encourage people to pick, up and try on whatever they fancy. If they are shy, provide a dressing area (your bathroom, or another bedroom) or like teenagers, you can just let it all out and try on each other’s clothes with abandon like my crew happily did!
  • My result was everyone found something ‘new’ to take home. For some it was a scarf, others a dress, others a pair of boots. And many found many, many new things!

Encourage trying on and lots of laughter!

  • After the shopping has run its course, a final toast is made to all the things that are remaining and the new homes for the ones that have been exchanged. Gratitude for all is given.
  • The remaining items can be lovingly donated to your local charity of choice.
    • It is a fact that many of our second-hand clothing is not reused even if we donate it to a local charity, so any other ideas of how this can be confirmed to be put to good use, please try.  For example, church organizations or specific places where people are in need are often a very good option instead of just your local Salvation Army.
  • I have decided on Seasonal Cava & Clothes: Eco-Exchange is the best way forward here. My crew asked for it so our next one is being organized as I post this!

Are you game to be an eco-advocate with me?

 

Seriously, it was such irony when I hosted my first Eco-Exchange when I had to deal with the massive amount of clothing that was left behind by someone that over-shopped, over-spent, gathered cluttered and ultimately had it damage her life. It was as if the Universe wanted to give me an up-close and personal example of what I had been feeling all along.
I felt a deep sense of JOY on the evening of my first Eco-Exchange. The concept had worked! I sense people want to Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle and Refuse more and more and more. We just need to make the solutions, the pathways to doing this more accessible, more visible, more known.
FUTURE ECO-EXCHANGES I DREAM OF
I dream of adding to this ritual of Eco-Exchanges to include other things such as furniture, books and even into the male realm with tools and household stuff. But for now, I am happy to work on my seasonal local Cava & Clothes: Eco-Exchange in my lovely seaside town of San Sebastian, Spain.

LEE’S NEXT ECO-EXCHANGE
Is anyone interested in joining in our Autumn event this late October? If so, and you are in the area, just PM me. All are welcome. October 25th.
YOUR CLUTTER IS HURTING YOU
And if you are in the midst of a massive need to DECLUTTER your entire space too, I can help with this too.  DOWNLOAD FREE ARTICLE
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Your clutter is harming you

NEED SOME HELP?
And if you are not sure your CLUTTER is a problem, then check out this article I wrote called Your Clutter is HURTING YOU and How You Can Stop It Now.FREE ARTICLE HERE