OwlSwap promotes sustainability through inclusive events, community engagement, and educational opportunities. Since its inception in 2017, OwlSwap has blossomed from a class project into one of the most active community outreach and sustainability education programs at KSU. OwlSwap directly supports our local community, builds global engagement through collaborative research, and positively impacts the world by sharing everyday sustainable practices that empower others to take action.
In the Fall of 2017, KSU Geography Professor, Dr. Jason Rhodes, introduced a special topics course on the Geography of Clothing. This course focuses on educating students on the social, environmental, and economic impacts of the garment industry. Students from the inaugural course felt the need to take accountability and spread awareness of the reality of this industry at KSU. They decided to apply what they learned to improve their community and create change in the world.
It was from this group of inspired students that the first campus clothing swap was organized and OwlSwap was established. Our original mission was to spread awareness about the textile and clothing industry; it is one of the most polluting and resource-intensive industrial processes, directly impacting the health and livelihood of people and our planet. While we continue to focus on textile and clothing sustainability, OwlSwap has expanded with the goal of inspiring others to incorporate everyday sustainable habits and creating a lasting and positive impact in our community.
Through the leadership of Kennesaw Sociology Alumna, Britt Pickering, and dedicated volunteers, OwlSwap has become one of the most active community outreach and sustainability education programs at KSU. In addition to their inclusive clothing swaps, OwlSwap hosts a sustainability-focused film series and other educational opportunities that enrich and support the local community.
In their committed support to the KSU community, OwlSwap provides multiple opportunities for students lacking resources to gain access to assistance. These services include a campus closet with professional business attire and a system to relieve clothing insecurity built in conjunction with KSU CARE, the LGBTQ Resource Center and the Office of Victim Services. Our partnerships extend beyond our local community. OwlSwap participates in a collaborative research project with BRAC University in Dhaka, Bangladesh; one of the leading garment exporting countries in the world. Another example is KSU’s partnership with local nonprofit, re:loom. Partnerships like these focus on meeting the needs of people, planet, and profit without compromising the integrity of our environment or the needs of future generations. OwlSwap strives to support our community and positively impact the world by sharing sustainable practices while empowering others to take action.