Celebrating the Earth with sustainable fashion

The Monterey Bay community came together to facilitate a clothing swap in honor of Earth Day on April 22. Marlow Vintage Company and the Surfrider Foundation partnered with Other Brother Beer Co. in Seaside to hold the event. 

“Working with Other Brother is perfect because they let me do whatever I wanted to do today, and they were inspired by the Earth Day idea,” said Amanda Marlow, the founder and CEO of Marlow Vintage.

Marlow is a personal stylist, vintage seller and collector. She has been in the fashion industry in various facets, and now focuses “on finding really great clothes that people have thrown out or discarded and restyling them into people’s lives,” she explained.

Her idea was to hold a clothing swap, where anyone from the community had the opportunity to donate their used clothes to the event and do some free shopping of all of the donated items. The event also consisted of a planting workshop for kids.

Rijk Zwaan, a seed supplier located in Salinas, donated crystal lettuce head seeds for the workshop. Local plant nursery Dirty Girl Plant Co. also participated in the Earth Day event by donating the soil for Rijk Zwaan’s seeds.

Marlow explained that the team “made sure to reach out to all of the mom boards on Facebook and Instagram and went through schools and teachers in the community to get more kids involved” and educate children on fun and safe gardening practices.

Not only did Other Brother provide the venue, but the beer company also donated 15% of all beer sales of the day to the Surfrider Foundation.

When Marlowe reached out to Surfrider and asked them to join the event and be the main beneficiary, “I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Especially when I found out that she wanted to do a clothing swap… It’s the most environmentally friendly way to shop, as far as I’m concerned,” shared Michelle Meeshy, the special events coordinator of the Surfrider Monterey chapter. 

Surfrider is a national non profit environmental organization that was formed in Malibu, Calif. in 1984 when surfers were among the first to feel the harmful effects of polluted ocean water.

“Our local chapter works to protect the oceans, beaches and coastway of Monterey county,” according to Meeshy. The Monterey chapter is completely volunteer-run and they accept members through donations. 

The minimum membership donation used to be $35, but has indefinitely been lowered to $5 in an attempt to provide as many people as possible with the opportunity to serve and protect the treasured Monterey coast.

Surfirder will be holding their monthly mixer at Peter B’s brewpub on May 18. “We’re going to have a great raffle with a custom-made surfboard by a custom shaper. Portola hotel is also raffling off a two night stay,” said Meeshy. 

The foundation also holds a monthly beach clean up on the fourth Sunday of every month. The next one will be held on May 28 at Monterey Tides North and they are currently looking to fill the beach clean up captain position on the executive board. More information on this can be found at surfrider.org.

Sustainability is a vital part of the conversation surrounding climate change and how to keep our planet healthy. Shopping for second-hand clothes from vintage and thrift stores is a great way to save money while reducing your carbon footprint and keeping the earth clean from harmful pollutants.

“I try to get most of my clothes secondhand if possible. Mostly from an environmental, but also cost perspective, so I’m always interested in seeing what’s available at events like this one,” said Emily Basham, a local from Monterey who participated in the swap. 

“We were having lunch inside and saw all the clothes so we had to come take a look. It’s exciting to see people doing this,” shared another local community member. “It’s really helpful and good for the community.”

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