By Giedre Krotovaite (Vilnius, Lithuania, placed by American Councils in Edwardsville, IL)
To develop sustainable habits, Aida Mazyte ’17 developed a project encouraging others to contribute to a zero-waste lifestyle. In 2018, Aida organized the first sustainable fashion and clothing trading event, Spintadienis (“The Wardrobe Day”), where she provided a space for people to sell their old clothes and for others to buy them, like a make-shift thrift store. Since then, Spintadienis has been one of the most successful and well-loved events in the FLEX alumni community in Lithuania. To get a behind-the-scenes look into how Spintadienis became so successful, I asked Aida a few questions about her experience organizing the events.
How did you come up with the idea for Spintadienis?
I noticed I had many clothes I didn’t wear, and I wanted to exchange them with my friends. However, my friend group was too small to have a fruitful exchange. I began thinking, what if I could get more people involved? But to do that, it would need lots of planning. Then, I thought of my FLEX alumni community and decided to make this event into something more than just a clothes exchange. I wanted to make an impact on our community, so I thought we could also donate clothes and funds that we raised through sales. This is how I got the idea for Spintadienis; it began out of an abundance of clothes I didn’t need.
The first Spintadienis was rushed. We didn’t have much time for marketing; therefore, it didn’t attract many people. There were 60 participants, and 10-15 were selling clothes. Even so, it was a successful event.
How has the event changed over the years?
Though the first event was small, we took about two months each to prepare for the following two events, so they were well-advertised and attracted many people. However, the most recent event was more intimate, as it targeted the FLEX alumni community. Therefore, unlike the second and third editions, which took place in large venues, the most recent event took place in a smaller venue.
How does Spintadienis help the community?
I believe all who participated in Spintadienis were interested in combatting the fast fashion industry, which is ever-growing and harmful to the environment. Sometimes people feel pressure from society to buy new clothes even when they don’t need them, so clothes go to waste. Spintadienis can help get rid of those clothes in an environmentally friendly way and help others find secondhand clothes instead of purchasing fast fashion.
What are your plans for the event in the future?
Today we are happy to say that we have already organized four Spintadienis events in two cities, Vilnius, and Kaunas. At the most recent event in August of 2022, alumni raised $115 for the 1K Fund that provides resourceful and humanitarian aid for Ukrainians.
Aida Mazyte ’17 (Vilnius, Lithuania, placed by American Councils in Pueblo, CO)