Clothing exchange galore
ARTS/West, 132 W. State Street, holds many events throughout the year, including art galleries and performances. ARTS/West works in Athens to bring people together and host events showcasing all the beauty within the region. One of their non-traditional events is Cat’s Pajamas, an Athens-wide clothing exchange.
Emily Beveridge, program specialist at ARTS/West, started the event in 2008 after she wanted to bring people together to exchange clothes and their love for them. In 2020, ARTS/West closed to the public because of the pandemic, so there was an iteration of the event at UpCycle Ohio Thrift Store, creating a partnership for the event this year. ARTS/West and UpCycle Ohio Thrift Store will be hosting the event Thursday, Nov. 4 to Saturday, Nov. 6, 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Beveridge said she is shocked the event has been happening for 13 years, but it has been the support from local residents keeping the event alive and annual. People are constantly telling Beveridge they are continuously saving their clothes up specifically for the event.
The event will most likely take place in front of ARTS/West this year. In order to participate, one has to be either a member of ARTS/West or the UpCycle Ohio MakerSpace, and pay a $15 fee to get in on Thursday. On Friday, general, non-member admission will be $15 and $10 on Saturday. One payment covers admission for the entire event, so anyone can come back as many times as they want. All proceeds will be split between ARTS/West and UpCycle Ohio Thrift Store.
Participating in Cat’s Pajamas is a way to support the process of recycling clothes and finding them a new home. One’s new clothes could have once belonged to a neighbor or friend, already holding a sense of value. Beveridge said the event has worked to relieve the stigma around second-hand clothing, for it holds character. It is a way to shop for new clothes at a reasonable price while bonding people over a common interest.
If one chooses to donate, they are able to take whatever clothes they want, free of charge. People are able to donate any day before the event starts. When one donates, they will receive a ticket indicating their donation.
Cat’s Pajamas provides a sense of togetherness during a difficult time, and Beveridge encourages everyone to participate in the event to keep the spirit and shared love for clothes alive.