If you are looking to support a Gozo based project that benefits the local community here, globally and environmentally, look no further than Vogue XChange, run by local visionary Tonya.
We have been spoilt at GITH when it comes to speaking with community minded doers. But every so often, we meet an individual who blows us away with their ingenuity and selfless creativity. Tonya Lehtinen is one such individual.
In a nutshell, the Vogue Xchange in Victoria began as an anti ‘fast fashion’ idea that Tonya instigated with a small group of friends. In other words don’t buy poor-quality clothes that end up in a landfill site and cause environmental harm – recycle your old fabrics and upcycle your quality garments. The initiative now has a reach on Facebook of 7k and Tonya’s premises is now the official Clothes Bank of Gozo. In recent weeks, people have found themselves in need of specific items due to the unexpected home and work situations in which we find ourselves.
The premises now hosts swap events where one can trade items for button tokens and exchange these for other second hand items. Any proceeds that are made from the Xchange are then donated to the FAA – an organisation established in 2006 dedicated to campaigning and advocating for the protection of Maltese cultural heritage and environment. The vision is for Tonya to acquire premises devoted to the project to expand the Xchange, and with donations coming in from all around the globe, we are confident it won’t be long. In the meantime, you can still donate textiles and support.
What could be better for our community than a diverse group of individuals, Gozitan and Expats, coming together over a homemade local delicacy and a cuppa to invest time and care in treating our textiles respectfully and resourcefully?
Ever ready to fight the disposable fashion trend, Tonya is also involved in educational events and organisations with the intention of equipping our community with the knowledge to make responsible decisions when it comes to buying and disposing of clothes. This extends to creating space for the more mature Gozo ladies to come into the workshop and utilize their incredible stitching and cloth craft skills in disassembling and recycling items at the Vogue Xchange.
And theres more…
In a previous life, Tonya was a space organizing expert advising blue-chip clients on how to manage their environment. We look forward to her upcoming exclusive GITH series on decluttering and reinventing the home. Let’s face it, we’re all spending a bit more time with our four walls these days. And as for the next Vogue Xchange Swap event, the GITH team can’t wait to get stuck in!
You can find the Vogue Xchange Facebook page here.