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.

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.

Guerrilla girls

I have started off by looking further into the Guerrilla Girls, whom are female artists that produce wear Gorilla masks in order to fight for  human rights, discrimination and ethnic bias.

Through wearing the Gorilla masks they are able to hide there identity so primal focus is on the current issues in society today. This is done through outrageous visuals; such as posters, images, stickers, videos. Therefore the the issues are at the forefront of the public eye creating a larger awareness


Last year I visited the Guerrilla Girls exhibition at the White Chapel Gallery in London.

I initially heard about the Guerrilla girls and was intrigued but the approach they took and how society reacted upon it. Therefore when visiting the exhibition I kept a footfall of the amount of people who entered the gallery and the amount of woman to men. The ratio was 9 females to 1 males for the hour I was in the gallery. At first this was just for personal interest due to Guerrilla girls being a feminist group; although the Guerrilla girls exhibition at the WhiteChapel  pin pointed that men were more likely to be granted an open gallery space in order to support the work they produce. This was very controversial considering it was done in an open gallery on there own walls.

So I questioned:

Why would men want to visit an exhibition proving how curators can be bias in the artists work they choose to be displayed in galleries?





AD394 – Creative Research

After todays first introduction to our new project I felt quite excited about our new research project ‘Activism’. Therefore I went away with an open mind and thought about previous exhibitions/ personal opinions on relevant topics within the topic of activism as well as Activists themselves.

Here is a couple of examples of what I thought about:


European Space Agency


Pussy Riots

Animal Rights

Anti – abortion

Religious Excommunication

Protest Emigration

Producers Boycotss

Guerrilla Girls – Went to the Exhibition Last year

Environmental Activism – Shark Hunting, Windpower Turbines

Nuclear Efforts – North Korea

From these topics I further thought about whom are activists:

Martin Luther King

Margret Fuller




Presentation Script 23/05/2017

The script in which Brandie and I have created to explain our placement journey which is supported with our presentation of primary images.

NADIA: Five Short Blasts is a journey in a boat, where you listen to the sound of the environment and the sound of the people in that environment. Audiences are cast of to sea where they can experience these pre-recorded sound pieces and voices in a peaceful environment that allows them to really connect with the performance. Being at sea makes experience instantly calming and quite meditative, you could almost drift of to sleep.

BRANDIE: Similarly, For the Birds is an immersive night time experience that invites the public to navigate a woodland environment in a completely new light, literally. Guided by a string of fairy lights in complete darkness, you make your way through a 2 kilometre trail through the woods. The trail is illuminated by a series of bespoke sound and light installations designed by artists currently working in the UK. If were not so beautiful it would of actually been quite scary.

NADIA: The nature of both of these performances means that they were heavily reliant on outdoor spaces.

BRANDIE: And with our gorgeous English weather, you can imagine not everything went entirely to plan. You’d think an organisation as big as Brighton festival would run fairly smoothly, but going on these placements made us realise that working in the industry can be just as hectic and unexpected as being a student, but even more so because you really have to just deal with whatever is thrown as you.

NADIA: Both our placements experienced a series of obstacles that they had to overcome daily to ensure the performances still went ahead and on schedule. Firstly, Five Short Blast was initially meant to be based in Shoreham port. All the sound recordings and voices were from Shoreham and it’s residents, and it was designed to give you a personal insight to the town whilst you were on its waters. So you can imagine audiences were a little confused when they were relocated to Brighton Marina. Shoreham had high tide, which meant the waters were too choppy for a boat to travel on making it a major healthy and safety issue. This meant that the performance was moved to Brighton Marina where the sea was more steady. This instantly set the artists back because they felt like their sound pieces no longer correlated with their setting, essentially doctoring the whole experience.

BRANDIE: And I’m sure you’ve all heard about For the Bird’s first obstacle, the whole reason why my placement was set back. A number of members of the public raised concerns about the installations potential impact on nesting birds. A petition was signed by over 1500 people urging the Festival to postpone the performance so that it did not take place within nesting season. The petition said: We are not against art or creativity but the timing of this creative performance and its impact has been dangerously overlooked with potentially fatal consequences for our wildlife. Not only this year, but impacting future population and generations of species in the area.”

The festival responded by saying “Neither Brighton Festival nor the artists take this lightly. Indeed the work itself is intended to celebrate the mystery and beauty of the avian world and highlight why it should be protected.” When on the placement i struggled to ask further questions about this because it was already a very hostile and stressed environment. I didn’t need to add more stress by reminding them what they had been through.

NADIA: Yeah, talking about the incidents wasn’t easy as both teams were trying to make the best out a bad situation. To add to the relocation, when the artists arrived at Brighton Marina they found that there were not any boats waiting for them. They then had to frantically search for boats that could be hired to ensure the performance could still go ahead. This was frustrating as it was completely out of the artists hands and down to the festivals lack of organisation. They had been told everything was sorted. You could tell how this had affected the artists’ trust in the festival, and desire to work with them again. Valerie, a performance coordinator, mentioned how she doubted the artists would come back to work with the festival after all that had gone wrong, which is a shame because they love the variety of people from Brighton that come to enjoy the show.

BRANDIE: The second incident was one that Kate, the production manager, was keen to talk about. Travelling with the show meant that she had seen it come to life in several locations, and she said that this was the first where they had experienced theft. The work is usually set up in much more rural environments so the ‘secret location’ actually remains a secret, and lets be honest the crime rate tends to be lower. This years location, although hidden (it took us 40 minutes to find it) was still off of a main road and a frequent location for dog walkers. Eventually they noticed bits of the work going missing or being broken overnight. Leaving parts of the trail up had never been an issue before, but because of the more urban environment and everything that comes with that, this year they were having to put everything up and then take everything down within the same day. This made the preparatory process much more time consuming and labour intensive than it had ever been before. Meaning more people had to be hired and longer hours had to be worked. This all costs time and money and stress that they didn’t anticipate. It was obvious how this had even dampened the spirits of the team who said they were initially excited about setting up in such a lively and exciting city.

NADIA: The final obstacle that both Five Short Blasts and For The Birds experienced was rain, and there was a lot of it. Fortunately my visit was on a good day, and the artists mentioned how I got the perfect weather for the experience. Not only would rain make the experience less peaceful, and more uncomfortable to sit in, it also proved to be quite a heavy health and safety risk that was sometimes enough to cancel the show completely.

BRANDIE: But I worked for 5 hours in the pouring rain and it was definitely not on a good day. Everything on my placement was centred around defeating the rain, which was practically impossible considering it didn’t stop. One of things that was worrying Kate the most was the fear that the audience would have to wait in the rain for their shuttle bus that took them to the location to arrive. She said that if somebody has been waiting in the rain for too long at the start, no matter how much they enjoy the performance that initial wait will taint their experience of the whole show. We tend to remember the bad things, and this is was usually get passed on to their reviews.

The main reason that the rain was such a nuisance however was that it made the paths unsafe for the audience to walk around in in the dark. Me and Gabriel nearly slipped multiple times, and this was an obvious sign that something needed to be done about them before the public arrived. Therefore for the duration of our placement we were instructed to accompany Jake (who was initially hiring as a lighting assistants but happened to draw the short straw with us) to pave the muddy parts of the pathways with wood chips to soak up the moisture. We would fill up the back of a buggy with the wood chips and drive them down to the muddy area and then spread them over the area. By the end of the night I was exhausted from heavy lifting, wet, muddy and to the least bit impressed. But it was all worth it to then walk down our perfectly safe paths and view the show.

NADIA: Through these placements we have realised that despite how much planning and preparing you can do, when relying on an outdoor space you have got to be prepared for the worst to happen. And when it does you need to respond quickly because you have the public relying on you.

BRANDIE: Although neither of our placement experiences were particularly enriching, they have helped us gain an insight into the world of events management, and the types of roles and attitudes needed to put on a successful show.