Clothing Drive

1. Clothing Drive

1.1. What

This action was designed to implement a clothing drive with in IES Barcelona Abroad at the end of the semester. All students are encouraged to bring unwanted clothing of all types along with old shoes that were just going to be thrown away at the end of the semester. All collected clothing will be donated to The International Church of Barcelona (ICB), which is a religious organization here in Barcelona that reaches out to English speaking students and allows them to continue to connect with their religion affluence. This action focuses mainly on the advertising for this clothing drive but also incorporates how sustainable a clothing drive could be if carried out by IES Barcelona students.

1.2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?

It is estimated that an average American discards approximately 68 pounds, or approximately 30 kg, of old clothing per year. If every single American gets rid of that amount of clothing, it adds of up two quadrillion pounds of clothing that is being tossed into the already crowding landfills each year.

This action if carried out successfully is a prime example of the cradle to cradle design. People continuously throw away clothes because to them they become old. They feel as if they have worn them to dust and no longer have any use for them. However, what is deemed as trash to them can significantly benefit others if they choose to donate their old clothes. It estimated that in the United States alone there are approximately one million people who are homeless. What clothes that are rages for us, can be riches for these homeless people. The action incorporates the idea that clothing that becomes obsolete can be reincorporated to be reused again by somebody else.

The idea of a clothing drive is also sustainable because it promotes the idea of eco-efficiency. Eco-efficiency is the process of slowing down and halting the current problematic issues the environment is facing. Though not the best way to solve the problems (that would be more eco-effectiveness; which is changing the lifestyle) its a start. If people take part in this action, less clothes will be added to the over filled landfills. If less clothes are being thrown away there is more room for biodegradable items in the landfills, which is better for the environment anyway. Which goes along with decreasing IES Barcelona Abroads "ecological/ carbon footprint" as a whole. If every student donates one pieces of old clothing to this charity that is 450+ pieces of clothing that is not waste.

Making clothes from raw materials has a lot of downfalls. First it is costly in energy to run and maintain the factories. Second, a lot of water is needed to grow the raw materials (for example cotton) which can strain the amount of water in under developed countries where water is scarce. Also pestisides are released into the environment from these processes. A clothing drive in IES alone (though it is a very small amount) can help diminish these issues through reuse.

This action can also have an outlet in changes in attitudes. Students, if they donate, can feel a sense of self worth and engulf a feeling of giving back to Barcelona; kind of a thank you gift for the adventure they had in the city while they studied abroad here.

From the examples listed above, it is clear that reusing of clothes through donations to those who need it is has very sustainable aspects that can be a step in the right direction to helping the environment.


1.2.1. SWOT Analysis



  • takes unwanted clothes from students who were just going to throw them out
  • helps those in need of clothes
  • decreases raw material consumption
  • promotes idea of cradle to cradle
  • reduces the amount of waste from IES Barcelona Students
  • advertisements have the ability to evoke an emotional response to persuade students to donate


  • amount of time it could take to advertisement, notify and collect before students return to American
  • advertisement dont just just out at people and say read me > they need to be eye catching


  • help those in need of clothes who are less fortunate than us students studying abroad here
  • decrease waste from IES Barcelona students
  • take a chunk out of IES Barcelona Abroad's ecological footprint
  • give back to the Barcelona community 
  • properly dispose of clothes that would otherwise just be thrown in the garbage


  • students wont care that much/ wont see it as an easier process for them
  • students might be too lazy to bring in their unwanted clothes
  • hard to change ways/ attitudes of students if they don't already care
  • collection is taking place during finals week; which is more important
  • each year their might not be a student who is physically connected with ICB


1.2.2. Feedback loops

  hanging of advertisements -> an increased number of people that know about the collection -> more people able to donate > more donations of clothes > more people benefit from IES Barcelona students > less e-waste by IES Barcelona Abroad students crowding the landfills > more donated would allow less advertisement to be needed 

  • this loop would be considered a reinforcing loop with two negative causal loop 

more advertisement > emotional response > change in attitude by IES Barcelona students > more donations > less clothes thrown out by students in IES > no more need for advertisement

  • this loop is considered a balancing loop

clothing drive > collect unwanted clothing from students > less waste by IES students > giving back to the barcelona community> increase morale/ want to continue this action

  •  this loop would be considered a reinforcing loop because if you want to continue the action then you will create another clothing drive.

1.2.3. Potential Benefits

- reduce raw material consumption 

- take old clothes off students hands so they don't bring them back to the states

- reduce IES Barcelona Abroads ecological footprint

- helps those in need

- gradually one step at a time reduce the amount of waste from IES Barcelona ABroad students by properly disposing of these clothes

- gives back to the Barcelona community - cradle to cradle design

1.2.4. Potential Costs

- time it takes to advertise, collect, package and delivery > boxes will probably have to be new (meaning money will be used here)

- not enough people will donate (risk)

- not all clothes donated will be able to be used because they might be damaged in some way or another

- paper used to advertise

- time from Ferran Teres and Cesar to approve and send my emails out

1.3. How

I have made a flyer and an email that will be sent out and posted to/for all IES Barcelona students to read and see. I have spoken with Ferran Terres who said he would pass both along to Cesar to be approved. If approved I will hang the flyers on the bulletin board on all floors of the IES building along with send out an email letting educating students on the clothing drive to come in the future. That will happen around April first. Ferran said he would send out my mass email for. Around the middle of April another reminder email will be sent. The last week in april boxes will be placed around the building for collection. Collection will be closed the week of finals. The clothes donated will then be collected and passed on to Tyler Changaris who said he would deliver all that is donated to the International Church of Barcelona to be distributed/ reused by those who need clothes.


1.3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design

This action is an example of the "cradle to cradle" design as stated previous. All old clothes that become obsolete to students and or faculty in IES Barcelona Abroad will be donated and available for reuse for those who need it by the International Church of Barcelona. The premise for a "cradle to cradle" design is the fact that what is waste for somebody becomes essentially "food" for another. In terms of "food" for this action, clothing will be reused instead of being thrown away. What is old for a student in IES is new for a person in need. No physical waste will come out of this action. Also the flyers that are to be posted around IES will be recycled in the bins that are next to the printers to be reused by students and or faculty for hands out or scrap paper. The boxes for collection will be used to transport the clothing to International Church of Barcelona.

1.3.2. Questions for the unified survey

No questions on this action were open to the public on the survey because this a newly developed action. If questions were to be added for answers to the survey, they would be as follows: Would you participate in a clothing drive if boxes were available in IES? Would you find it a hassle to bring your old clothes to IES for donation? In the United States, when you clean out your closets/ sort through your clothes do you typically throw away your clothes or donate them? Do you think clothing donations is a good cause?

1.3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey

no results were obtained from survey due to the fact that this is a newly developed action (as stated previously)

1.3.4. Incentives

An incentive for students to donate their clothes would be helping them pack to go home. From the peer reviews that I have received it seems that a lot of people are in the same boat when it comes to thinking they might not have enough room to pack all their clothes. I have heard also from other students that have previously studied abroad that checking bags is very expensive as their is around a 100 euro fine for overweight luggage. 

Also there has been recommendation to set up an eco-euro system via the treasurer of the Sustainability class. This recommendation has come to late to be set up for this semester but is a great idea for future semester. A database could be created in which a student donating clothes could log onto the website and punch in what clothes they donated. In return a system could be created where certain items of clothing are worth different amounts. Their request would then be automatically sent via email to the treasurer. I think this is a great idea. However, in order for it to work I think advertisement and incorporation of the eco-euro system should be better intwined and explained to all students in IES Barcelona Abroad so everybody can benefit. 

 An incentive for somebody to carry out this action in the future is the fact that it incorporates many aspects. Its an opportunity for a student to express their creative side via the flyers. It is also an opportunity to create an image of self worth for them self. Who ever follows out this action will be organizing a great program to give back to the community of Barcelona along with help those who are less fortunate than them.

1.3.5. Relationship with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)

This action is working in accordance with the Sustainability Club. Solomon sent an email out to our class asking for students help in certain actions they were planning to carry out for the semester. Tyler Changaris, who is another student in IES Barcelona Abroad, is a member of the club and is not only affiliated with the ICB but will also be delivering the clothes.

1.3.6. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?

The collection process and packaging process will be completed by the time I leave IES Barcelona to return back to the states. The delivery process will be carried out by Tyler Changaris at the end of the collection process.


1.3.7. Document format

The advertisement designed for this action was done using Microsoft word meaning it is a in the format of .doc. This document is as followed: no use for me anymore? not taking me home.. DONATE ME TO THE INTERNATIONAL CHURCH OF BARCELONA (donate is in a blue color to grab the students attention) CLOTHING DRIVE (this is in big green font in the middle of the page) WHEN: April 26th to May 5th WHERE: Collection bins around IES Questions: Contact Megan Bernstein at: bernme01 at gettysburg.edu

  • the background of the advertisement is a blank shirt with all this information on it.

sustainability-advertisment new.doc

    • the information on my advertisement will also be emailed to all the students in the same design.

this website is a .html

1.3.8. Copyright license of your report

CC BY Share alike: This license is flexible in the sense that it allows other students to remix, tweek and build upon my original work as long as they credit me for the advancements they made. The other thing that must take place is that they must license their new creation under this copyright license, this in return will allow for commercial use. 

I would pick this license because action designs are not flawless. Until they are physically carried out nobody knows if they are going to be successful; and if not successful things are going to need to be changed for future success. If at the end of this semester my advertisements and emails did not draw enough donations from IES students then a better designed advertisement and emails will need to be used in the future for a better success rate. I also agree that all information posted on this wiki page should be free for any future IES student for this action to be implemented in the future.

1.4. Time-sheet / Chronogram

Time 2nd month First week of third month third week of third month Last week of third month first week of last month abroad
Action make flyer and email and contact administration for approval hang flyer and have first email sent out send a reminder email place bins around IES for collection remove bins, sort through clothes and deliver to ICB

For Example:

April 1st: flyer about the clothing drive will be hung on the bulletin board along with a mass email will be sent to the students

April 18th: a reminder email will be sent to all IES students reminding them of the future clothing drive to come - with more information regarding when the bins will be set out.

April 26th: bins will be placed in the IES building

May 4th: bins will be taken out and collection will be packaged and handed over to Tyler Changaris for delivery to ICB

  • Tyler Changaris  has volunteered through the sustainability club to personally bring the clothes collected to ICB since for the semester that he has studied here him and his girlfriend have been affiliated with ICB and personally have already helped in redistributing collected clothing to the poor with this program. 

1.5. References & Links

Brito, W. "The Value of Donating Used Clothing. Ehow. Web. 21 Apr 2011.

"Clothing: Greener Choices. Environment and Greener Living. Web. 22 Apr 2011.  

International Church of Barcelona. ICbspain. Web. 21 Apri 2011.

1.6. Students involved in this action

Megan Bernstein- leader Sarah Cole and Martha Tahsler- hand out flyers and help promote my actions on a personal level with students

 Assignment 4: Peer review form

You do not have permission to insert an item

Items found: 17
Grade per actionReviewer Comments
89 vydraI never thought of this, this is a great idea. So many students accumulate more clothes while they are here for the semester, and will most certainly have extra clothes at the end of their stay here. I'm not sure if they will consider their clothes "old," but I think they will recycle them nonetheless instead of simply throwing them out.
81 vsienkieThis is a great idea and can be really helpful to those in need in Barcelona and to thos IES student who cannot fit everything in their suitcases. Maybe instead of flyers that waste lots of paper that students would probably just throw away you could go class to class and make a short presentation on this clothing drive to really get the students attention.
93 steph.eastlakeI think this is a really great idea because people always have extra clothes that they can't take home especially if they purchased a lot abroad. This is a great Cradle to Cradle design. A way to improve it could be to add other things like sheets because I'm sure there are a lot of bedding that gets left behind as well that other students could use. I really like your incentive system. I think thats a very important part in having students participate.
95 SolomonBPThanks for all your help with this Megan, really appreciate it. We'll talk more as the time gets closer, but basically if you could just be in charge of creating posters and other advertisement of the actual event, that would be awesome. I can give you all the details of where, when and how, and it'd be a huge help if you could get the word out. The only other thing we could maybe use help with would be at the end of the drive, if you could help with organizing just the shoe/clothing portion of it that would be awesome, if not no worries we'll be fine. Should be real easy to organize and package but we can talk more about what the will take when the event gets closer. Thanks again.
92 seantubridyI definitely have clothes that I do not want and I know many others do too. This action is very pertinent to IES being more sustainable. I hope everything runs smoothly. Make sure to post the flyer everywhere
97 Sarah ColeThis is a great idea! Your information is informative and I think students will really participate in this. I think the idea of the prize is good because it will make students want to participate instead of just throwing away their clothes. And it's for a good cause!
84 obiajuluthis would be really helpful if it gets up and running succesfully i feel like that is the hardest thing to do.
92 MbowermanLove this idea! I have a lot of things that I don't think will be coming back with me and I would definitely feel better about giving them to someone who needs them. A lot of students are probably in the same position and don't know who to give the clothes too so this is a great way to help people help others!
90 MarthaMayI love this action! I have been talking to a lot of my friends about how I need to dispose of a lot of my clothes and shoes so that I do not have to check another bag for my flight home. Now I can donate my clothes that will help others who are less fortunate. My sorority did a clothing drive that was EXTREMELY successful. I am excited to help pass out flyers to ensure this action suceeds. I wouldn´t change anything to make this action more sustainable!
94 Kmacdonald4This is a great idea and easy for all students to participate in. Its a great way to make packing to go home easier, to help the less fortunate and to recycle items that otherwise could become trash. I think the prize incentive will help but to make this really successful you should make sure students are well aware of the program before they even start to pack so they can plan ahead. Also I agree that you could use email and or facebook as a means to advertise rather than waste paper flyers that students might not notice.
93 Julia NuttI think that this is a really good idea. I have been wondering where I am going to put my old clothes that I have worn a million times in a row here and this is the perfect place to put them! I didn't want to throw them away and I will feel good about giving them away if I know they are going towards a good cause. Have you looked into several places to donate them? This will decrease the amount of waste that IES students create because instead of throwing away their old clothes that they know they wont wear again, they are going to a good cause and will be reused.
98 jschayeCreative idea. I think advertising a lot of where the clothes will go will help more students participate because they will know they are helping a good cause. I know when I donate stuff if I know where it goes I am more inclined to do that so make sure your advertisements emphasize that.
90 gnardiThis is a really good idea, people all over the world are in need of clothes and it is actually an absurd idea to throw away clothes. Also, it definitely seems cradle to cradle ready. i also think it is smart to have a prize given to the person who donates the most clothing, but it may be hard to actually monitor that since the only proof you will have is a piece of paper from the person donating the clothing. Besides that it is a really great idea and will definitely profit many people who are less fortunate and in need of clothing.
91 CFaheyI think this is a great action because it helps students who cant fit all of there clothes and it is sustainable because the clothes are being reused and donated to a church. One big threat to this is space in IES to store the clothes while they are waiting to be recycled. Hopefully this can all be coordinated with IES because it has a lot of potential.
92 carlafI for one have a disgusting amount of clothes here. Way more than I can (or even want to) bring back with me. At home I always donate clothing to thrift stores but I would rather donate clothes knowing they're going directly to those in need. This can be so easily done, little to no planning is necessary. The last few days of this semester when everyone is packing is the only time needed to complete this project.
92 Brian McNevinI think this is a really good idea. I think that many people packed to much for this trip and didn't account for what they would buy, and with as many people unemployed and poor as there are in Spain this is one of the best ways to help out. However, I think this may be a little hard to get students to participate in because I know for me, personally, I would try to bring all of my clothes home.
93 agluskerI really like this idea. Packing is one of the hardest parts about leaving school for me because I always end up with more stuff than I initially came with. Allowing students to donate clothes would be beneficial to the community and to their individual needs as well. Have you thought about alternate places to donate clothing. Maybe there are some sustainable local networks that could use the extra clothes.

 Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)

Items found: 2
2.3 Clothing Drive (Megan Bernstein) Good Very good action ad report, in general 1.2. Very well! (great arguments about eco-efficiency and eco-effectiveness). 1.2.1. Very good SWOT analysis! Improvable 1.1. "All collected clothing will be donated to a religious group that is willing to take them for people in need" Which group? How did you know about them?... 1.2. Why: Use units from International System (kg, not pounds). Make it easy for the readers in Spain and Europe, etc. Or at least, provide values with both units, if you also want to show it in pounds. "However, what is deemed as trash to them can significantly benefit others if they choose to donate their old clothes." Much more powerful is to participate in an exchange system. Imagine that you offer cloths, and another entity/organization can offer IES Abroad Barcelona new lining, blankets, hair dryers, etc. Barter, or exchange networks are very powerful and promote deeper and more stable relationships within local communities, SLEN, .... As a starting point, you could use http://intercanvis.net/iesbcn , which is very easy to get started, uses free software (FLOSS) and is a local initiative in Catalonia, and which can be easily translated into Spanish or English. Or someone could create a new node for IES Abroad Barcelona at the CES: http://www.community-exchange.org - which is closed source software, but with wider range of communities world wide. "This action can also have an outlet in changes in attitudes. Students, if they donate, can feel a sense of self worth and engulf a feeling of giving back to Barcelona; kind of a thank you gift for the adventure they had in the city while they studied abroad here." Ok, but barter or exchanges is much more powerful changing attitudes and raising awareness (besides promoting SLEN type of systems) than just "donating" to some organization that you are not involved with, and you don't know the rest of the process they do with it. "Humana" sells them, as far as I know. There are better orgnizations than "Humana" out there. 1.2.1. SWOT: Presentation of SWOT: add bullet points for those items. Otherwise, they can look like that one sentence is the follow up of the previous one. Bullet points in wiki syntax are created with stars (*) at the start of each line. O: "set up a system of eco-euros " You say so, ok, but you didn't say anything about ecoeuros in the previous sections of your report. If used, it could be introduced/stated at some point in the "1.1 What" section. O: "give back to the Barcelona community ". Well, it depends on which organization you are donating to, I guess. "Caritas" might be fine. But it depends, more details are needed on to whom you are planning to donate. T. "a student like Tyler involved with an organization like ICB wont be in each semester ". Who is Tyler and What is ICB? Introduce them previously in your report (in 1.1 "what", maybe?) to citing them in the SWOT analysis. 1.2.2. Feedback loops. First loop is not clearly finished: "...(in order to close the circle if more waste is produced then more advertisement about the issue is needed) " You should end talking about the first node of the system: "hanging of advertisements", in order to close the loop. And if it is balancing, as you say, then you should end up being able to say that "less hanging of advertisements will be needed", for instance. reconsider what type of loop is the second and third ones, whether reinforcing or balancing. First think about the meaning, then you can also check with the number of negative causal links. 1.2.3. "indirectly benefit the workers who work for low salaries and under harsh conditions ". Expand (it's not not clear that relationship) 1.2.4. Where do the boxes come from? So either extra money, time and7or transportation is needed, I guess... 1.3. "I have made a flyer and an email that will be sent out and posted to/for all IES Barcelona students to read and see." Please, upload them to the website, and link them from here. Ask me how, if needed (there are buttons in the toolbar on top of the text area when you are editing the wiki page, to upload documents and images). "Ferran [Terres] said he would send out my mass email for. " Provide a copy of such email, if finally agreed and sent. 1.3.1. "Also the flyers that are to be posted around IES will be recycled in the bins that are next to the printers to be reused by students and or faculty for hands out or scrap paper. " Even better if you can use some scrap paper for those posters also! Waste = food as an input for your own activities also (and not only as output)! 1.3.4. Incentives: "At the end of the year party a gift certificate will be given to the student who donated the most. Eco-euros will also be granted to all students to donate. ". Why not just letting any single person donating to fill in a record in a database at the sustainability club website (with an optional picture of the object donated), so that the person in the SC handling ecoeuros (the treasurer, in theory), could grant that students the ecoeuros in exchange? this way, we prevent data loss: what if a bin is lost, or the paper on the bin (with the information on who donated what) is lost? moreover, the work of the treasurer will be easier: once a student adds a new record in the website, the treasurer will receive an automatic email with that information so that managing ecoeuros and granting those gifts to users will be way easier!. If you have sometime after you finish your exams, I can teach you (to all students interested) how to create those databases of items, to make things much easier for students in next semesters, etc. And who knows, you might be using that knowledge on how to setup such web - based databases in the future for your own purposes/businesses, etc . Drop me a line if willing to participate with this last bit (web database setup, etc): it might be something similar to the survey we all did, etc. 1.3.5 & 1.3.6. Tyler: which Tyler? Please, provide also surname, at least, and email if possible (or username in the SC website, so that someone can write him), and/or who is his contact at ICB, so that when he is not here, we (other students from future semesters, at least) can try to keep alive that communication with ICB. ecoeuro system: this is another relationship with SC club (treasurer, at least). 1.3.7. Create a screenshot of your advertisement, or save as image (jpg, png, gif, etc), and upload that image to the website. "An image is worth a thousand words". 1.3.8. Revise it based on 2011a General comments 1.4. Revise it based on 2011a General comments 1.5. Revise it based on 2011a General comments
Congratulations for the improvements. Still: Quote:hanging of advertisements - an increased number of people that know about the collection - more people able to donate more donations of clothes more people benefit from IES Barcelona students less e-waste by IES Barcelona Abroad students crowding the landfills more donated would allow less advertisement to be needed this loop would be considered a reinforcing loop with two negative causal loop It's balancing, not reinforcing. 2nd

Page last modified on Thursday 28 of April, 2011 20:43:49