An Autonomous Swap Shop was created to evoke awareness around fast fashion, consciously consuming and sustainable wellbeing. The event occurred on the 18th April 2018 at Brighton Open Market, where we are aiming to return within the next three months. It was an exciting day for all, as it enabled individuals to switch their unwanted clothes for something new and more treasurable. All money made has supported Chestnut Tree House charity, a children’s hospice in Sussex.

We decided to locate An Autonomous Swap Shop within the Open Market as it is a convenient place for individuals due to its closeness to Brighton town centre, and the fact that it is half way between University of Brighton campuses Moulsecoomb and Grande Parade; making it easily accessible for students to attend. Furthermore, the Open Market is mixed within local businesses which support our local community, whom provide us with fry sourced produce which, in turn, enhances the sustainable nature of the event.

The idea behind the project was to create a conversation around the effects that the fashion industry has on our planet and people. At first, the key motive was to educate individuals (mainly students) about the effects their cheap purchases from online stores, such as Boohoo and Missguided, have. However, as time and research went on we began to learn that students have little awareness of ways in which to purchase sustainable fashion for a little-to-no-cost. Therefore, to address this, it was important that we demonstrated ways in which this is obtainable through the Swap Shop event.

Chest Nut Tree House charity is a children’s hospice across Sussex that aim to provide the best quality of life for those in sufferance. They do a great job and help provide specialist palliative care to those with shortened or limited lives. The support ensures a strong community is behind those and their families with 24 hour advice, assessments, specialist short breaks, emergency care, pre and post-bereavement support along with the aforementioned end of life care. They rely heavily on donations as the government only fund them 7% of their 3.5 million budget per year to keep the charity open. The Swap Shop’s main aim was to help the local community but was also to provide you with the exclusivity of learning about sustainable fashion and wellbeing through listening to the guest speaker. There was a £3 entry fee which was donated to the good cause.

The clothing and accessories available were a range of sizes, colours but also from designer, high street and vintage. We had 3 different fashion students from various London Universities who came and helped out, providing stylisation tips and techniques to show the use of one item in multiple ways. This was great as they helped out individuals who were unsure of how to style the clothes they liked, but would not typically wear. They also provided expert help with organising the structure of the clothes, as they colour coordinated and grouped clothing, making it easier for individuals to rummage through and get their idolised piece.We wanted to give the store an exclusive feel, however, still fit in with the market store persona. Therefore, we did not completely enclose the space provided to ensure that all members of the public are eligible to view the clothes, and were still able to learn about sustainability in fashion. Additionally, we handed out pamphlets for individuals to take away so that they may read more about sustainable fashion and how An Autonomous Swap Shop is trying to initiate further change in the way consumers view and
purchase clothing. This publication showcased interviews with activists and vegans, tips and tricks to live and shop more sustainably and much more information.

One of our main successes was the education of various consumers who walked past the stall who often enquired as to what An Autonomous Swap Shop was. We explained the idea, purpose and concept which engaged their attention, further attracting them to browse the Swap Shop. We were surprised as to how many individuals walked past and returned later with clothes. This shows that whenever there is an opportunity to learn about sustainable fashion, people show a keen interest to take part and educate themselves about how their fashion choices unknowingly affect the environment negatively. Therefore, their return with clothing signifies a growing awareness in consumers of sustainable fashion and their desire to change their choices for the better.

An Autonomous Swap Shop was inspired by a ‘friend swap’, meaning an event where friends meet to switch their clothes; this typically takes place in someone’s house and is a private event. However, it became pertinent that this Swap Shop was a community event, and needed to happen on a larger scale. ‘Stories Behind Things’ was also an inspiration, due to its massive online community on Instagram. However, Stories Behind Things has only occurred twice in two years, and An Autonomous Swap Shop is hoped to appear quarterly across various parts of Brighton.

Differing to Stories Behind Things, we wanted to have our own twist and it was decided that it would be a beauty stall and a guest speaker. Unfortunately, ‘Sweet Treats’ were unable to attend in the end due to unforeseeable circumstances, so Sascha became our main guest. For the next Swap Shop we hope to secure a vegan food stall to encourage others to switch to vegan alternatives.

At the end of the day, we did a flash sale for the last hour for those who did not bring clothes, yet wanted to purchase a particular item as this is still contribution to sustainable fashion; it ensures a lack of consumption from high street stores. This was also a good way to raise an extra bit of money for Chestnut Tree House. It’s clear that swap shops are a way forward. They are fun, easy to do amongst friends and family but also as a community to promote

We were lucky to have our special guest Sascha Camilli, founder of online publication Vilda Magazine, whose primary focus is on the luxuries of a vegan lifestyle. Her main focus for this talk was sustainable fashion. She guided us with ways to shop more consciously and discussed replacements for luxurious textiles such as silk, cotton and leather. Her discussion gave us a great insight on how easy it is to avoid high street/unsustainable fashion, but also how to make clothes last longer whilst touching on the effects that frequently washing has on the environment. She enhanced that “you change your clothes everyday, so we may as well inspire change with your initial fashion choices”. We were also lucky enough to have the brand NU SKIN to promote their animal free products whilst showing the benefit they have on the skin. Katie Duxbury (beauty advisor) was available to examine an individual’s skin and select the products she felt would be best.

For the next swap shop we will ensure that we have a bigger presence on our social
media platforms, where we aim to provide all the same information from the posters to our online
followers. Hopefully, by an increased presence online, we will attract more customers from various
locations who may not be aware of us, and provide more information on sustainable fashion and the differing ways to support this. Keep your eyes peeled for our posters across Brighton and follow us on Facebook at ‘An Autonomous Swap Shop’, and on Twitter and Instagram: @autonomousswap.

Portfolio Inspiration

I was initially very concerned as I had no idea what was expected from a PR portfolio. It was quite difficult to source a layout that was suitable to work with my own work. I therefore took inspiration from pinterest. The layouts below showcase work in clear and easily readable way.





Craftivism collective is a group of individuals who promote the positive changes they would like to see in the world through art. They currently have many different prejects which entail you to consider the values of creating something new or promoting something new in order for a complete final outcome. An example of this is ‘stitchable change makers’. The idea behind this is a dot to dot with a slogan that you reflect upon when you stitch. The final outcome is a line stitched image of a ‘change maker’ and how they initiated the change they made through the challenge. Therefore for individuals to appreciate the changes and benefits that go on in aid of change, a thought process needs to stem from somewhere; hence the use of stitch. Reflacting upon this within the fashion industry, a movement like this can enhance sustainable approach to fashion, as it can create consumer awareness of what it entails to produce an item of clothing which they aim to only use twice.

Review of Statement of intent

This project is on the theme of sustainable fashion and intends to explore consumer behaviours and there attitudes towards fast fashion. The aim is to create conversation with those who purchase into fast fashion and question they are really aware as to what they are purchasing in too. We are all guilty to purchasing into brands for the aesthetic and price and tend to not give any further though where our products are made, how they are produced and the impact on our people and planet that they have. Exploring attitudes of individuals psychological behaviours towards there buying habits and the knowledge they have surrounding sustainable fashion and wellbeing allows us to join the mission and educate those as the fashion industry in not as transparent as we wish. Clothes are essential to build a personal identity and socially differentiate ourselves therefore through this research it is important to find a way in which responds to peoples needs for trendy clothes and consuming; however more consciously.

H&M Group

H&M Group are a fashion and design company that own H&M and H&M Home, COS, & Other Stories, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday and ARKET. They state that “We want to make sustainable, good-quality fashion accessible to as many people as possible.” Which in an ideal world all brands and fashion groups are looking to do as sustainable fashion is becoming more of an appeal to individuals due to the harmful impacts of people and the environment are being exploited. With long term sustainable goals, H&M group aim to only use recycled or sustainably sourced materials by 2030. In 2017 they have reduced emissions from there own operations by 21%. 100% of factories in Bangladesh have now conducted democratic elections of worker representatives. They are also developing ways to make make all product life cycles circular and supports companies such as ‘worn again’ and ‘treetotextile.’

Kering Group

Kering is a luxury global group that develops on creativity in a sustainable and responsible way by driving towards higher levels of social, ethical, environmental and economical performance. They are convinced that sustainability can ‘redefine business values and drive future growth.’ This means that they vision sustainability to become a luxury component of every fashion house which is most likely to be copied by highstreet retailers.



As sustainable fashion is such a hot topic across the industry due to organizations trying to help protect our Earth and Environment. Monki has created a global sustainability campaign which promotes only using 100% recycled or sustainably sourced materials by 2030. It has been created to empower consumers to lessen there impact on our planet. Alongside this they have created a video which they state that “By focusing on what consumers can do, and how Monki’s own work supports the statements made in the campaign, the band wants to empower the viewers to fee they can have an active role in the future of sustainable fashion,” With campaigns by highstreet retailers being created it shows a positive future for the sustainable mission as more brands and companies are become aware of the impacts. The powerful imagery shown below display how sustainable fashion is fun, quirky whilst remains following the brands aesthetic. Through this campaign they are showing how 95% of clothing can be recycled.in a contemporary way that still appeals to there target demographic.


Patagonia have ensured sustainable and ethical values are at the heart of there ethos for the past 40 years. They support grassroot activists to find solutions for environmental crisis that the fashion industry partakes in. Patagonia are a prime example that take full responsibility and care of there product lifecycles ensuring no negative impact on the environment whilst ensuring safe, fair, legal and humane conditions are met across supply chains. Across there communication platforms, Patagonia have put in place petitions to fight for preservation of to governments for world Heritage protection. This is a great way to spread awareness of the current issues that our planet faces and acts consumers to act upon it. It also promotes how other companies like Patagonia can follow in the steps through engaging consumers on current issues whilst protecting and facing the these universal issues.

Global Fashion Agenda

Global fashion Agenda have called upon both highstreet and designer brands to take responsibility of the way they’re products are created through changing production processes.
The 2017 Fashion Summit in Copenhagen created awareness of the negative impacts it has on the Earth therefore were able to get signatories to commit to the 2020 action plan.

The 2020 action plan consists of four different objectives which are set as a guideline for brands and companies have to achieve a minimum of one. These include:
Action 1: Implementing design strategies for cyclability
Action 2: Increasing the volume of used garments collected
Action 3: Increasing the volume of used garments resold
Action 4: Increasing the share of garments made from recycled post-consumer textile fibres.

Signatories commit to setting targets in one or more of these four action points for 2020 and to annually report on their progress. Global Fashion Agenda will support the brands in implementing the commitment through knowledge sharing, policy engagement and by facilitating industry alignment. Brands including within this plan are Kering Group, H&M, Zara, Hugo Boss, Zara, Tommy Hilfiger, M&S e.t.c.

At Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2017, Global Fashion Agenda called on brands and retailers to sign a commitment to join the transition to a circular fashion system.

Celebrity culture influence

Trend change is dictated by celebrities who lead our culture to want new clothing all the time. This is due to there luxury garments showcased all over media publications and individuals with less disposable income have a desire for that clothing. Therefore high street retailers feel obliged to create cheap copies from unrecyclable materials with a short product lifecycle just to meet consumer need. However sponsorships on social media sites such as instagram and Facebook are now put in place with celebrities to promote there products. This marketing strategy is extremely unsustainable as it increases demand for fast fashion clothing. However it also encourages an insecure mindset within ourselves as we want to follow trends and the best way to look as we follow the celebrity dress.