Exchange anything and everything @ Aarhus Swap Market

by Sarah B. Haider, photo by Aarhus Swap Market

Are you a compulsive shopper who often ends up buying things that are of no use to you? We’ve all been through that moment when we fall in love at first sight; clothes, accessories, kitchenware… But later on it turns out that you didn’t need them after all. Massive sales like Black Friday make us go gaga over things that in the moment might seem like the perfect purchase – and of course the price is undeniably cheap – but then after it’s too late to return, you realise it will only ever gather dust on the top shelf.

With Christmas just leaving us, what better time to de-clutter, and what better idea than to swap your unwanted items for some more useful goodies?  This Saturday, hold onto your impulse purchases no longer, and stop by Aarhus Swap Market.

What is it all about?
The swap market is a social event organised by a non-profit body called the Foreningen Byttemarked (Swap Market Association) Aarhus. The event revolves around the environmentally-friendly concept of ‘upcycling’ or the creative re-use of goods. The idea was launched in Denmark in 2010, but Foreningen Byttemarked was officially launched in 2015 and became immediately popular with its very first event. Various companies and startups that share a passion for upcycling and re-using partnered up with Foreningen Byttemarked and will be present at the event.

“The swap market is not only about trading goods. We see it as a way of promoting sustainability by strengthening community interaction and facilitating re-use. People from all walks of life can join the event – whether you are a student, a working professional, a stay-at-home parent, a foreigner or a refugee, everyone is welcome,” said Chloe Frere, the event organiser.

“Last time, approximately 500 people showed up at the event; it was a big success. People donated too many things and we were initially concerned about wasting them, but at the end of the day everything was taken away,” she added.

Foreningen Byttemarked is not only for Danes; many internationals are also involved in the union. The event is scheduled to take place four times a year on January 21st, April 1st (Nordic Swap Day), either August 26th or September 2nd (during Aarhus Festuge), and November 25th (the day after Black Friday, also known as ‘Green Saturday’).

“Anyone can volunteer at the event, and it could be of particular interest to students who look to gain some volunteer experience in public relations, practical logistics, marketing and even as performers,” informed Chloe.

How does it work?
People are invited to bring anything and everything (in good condition, of course) to donate to the market. The organisers display the items, and anyone can take those which are of use to them. From clothes to accessories, toys to kitchenware, and books to DVDs – you can find anything at the market. There is no admission fee, and you can take as many things as you want. Even if you don’t have anything to donate and would like to pick a few things up for yourself, there are no restrictions. However, it’s always good to take something with you to become an active participant.

What else is going on at the event?
Apart from the swap market, the event will have some great musical entertainment too. ProPACE choir will be displaying their talent from 14:00 to 14:30, and for all the art lovers out there, Artlaws, a body promoting the concept of ‘art swap’, will be present at the event. Moreover, Red Barnet will be picking up any children’s clothing left at the end of the swap. The rest of the goods will be sent to REUSE –an innovative space in Aarhus for recycling, upcycling and progressive waste management.

Aarhus Swap Market takes place on Saturday, January 21st 2017 at UngK, Nørre Allé 23K, 8000 Aarhus C. The event will be open from from 10:00 – 15:00. For more information about the market, click here.

If you are interested in joining as a volunteer for the upcoming swap market events, please join the Byttemarked Facebook group here.

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