What is Give-and-Take?
Give-and-Take is a community-based project that develops services, activities and events to circulate pre-loved clothing throughout the local area. Along the way we share ideas and thoughts on how to re-use, repurpose and rethink the clothes that pass through our hands. We do this by focusing on the social side of reuse. We’re designed for face-to-face interactions and transactions. We create small-scale, informal, and hands-on experiences, so people have time and space to meet others and gather ideas while everyday resources are being circulated.

Give-and-Take collaborates with local citizens, projects, and organizations to share ideas and resources for exchanging and repurposing clothing. We’re rethinking how services are developed and delivered to keep everyday resources such as clothing in play on a local scale. Many of our services, including reuse services ie. thrift stores, curbside recycling, etc, tend to focus on efficiencies and high-volume through-put. Transactions can feel impersonal where interactions come across as anonymous, scripted, and/or mechanized. When people participate, they don’t necessarily know what impact their contribution is making; who else is involved; or what’s unfolding downstream.  Taken together, we seem to be engaged daily in service systems that isolate us from one other; offer little insight into their workings and impact; and minimize the opportunity for new or creative ideas to evolve out of the process. Give-and-Take is responding to this by designing ways for social connective tissue to grow out of the process of reuse. We want to support a civil society where people are appreciated, inspired, and encouraged to join in.

Give-and-Take defines value based on the quality of social interactions and
relationships rather than on efficiency and throughput.
We’re exploring what it means to be an ethical economy where “production” is based mainly on creating opportunities for collaboration and socia
l, civil interactions. Over the past 20 years, there’s been a steady evolution of a networked society. Both producers and consumers now have access to a communication structure that is geared beautifully towards sharing and exchanging. What’s happening is that we’re relearning how to create value out of shared and open resources in ways that balance personal self-interest with the good of the larger community.
(“Ethical Economies”Arvidsson, Adam, “Infrastructures”, “What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption”, Rachel Botsman)

How does it work?Give-and-Take adopts your pre-loved clothes and finds ways to get them into new hopeful hands. To do that involves a three-step process of collecting, organizing and distributing local clothing. Firstly, we collect in a couple of ways. You can either bring your things to one of local socials, which are held out in the community (see Upcoming Socials) or at our HQ (TBD). Or you can donate at one of our local drop-off points (TBD). In thanks, we’d like you to pick a few things for free from the collection.

Once you donate, we make sense of what we have and let you know about it. We want you to stay up-to-date about the ongoing collection. We do this letting you know what’s been adopted; how the clothing is being repurposed; and most of all, how you can come out and take part.

Right now, we’re a six month pilot to see if and how we can grow into a sustainable community service. We’re experimenting with a few ways to make use of all your donated stuff:

  1. We use your clothes as source material at public socials such as hands-on workshops and bitch sessions.
  2. We host small-scale pop exchanges between you, me and everyone we know.
  3. We donate your clothing to people in real need.
  4. And finally, working with local talent (DIY’ers, tailors, teenagers, you), we use the collection to showcase ideas for repurposing and reconsidering everyday resources.

Contact Us
General Inquiries: giveandtakepgh@gmail.com (or fill out form on the “Contact Us” page)
Stay tuned
Hours: By appointment and for events (again, stay tuned)

1 Response to About

  1. Hannah du Plessis says:

    This was a lovely event, Christina. It was a lot of fun to find your outfit and then being helped by a talented gorilla seamstress [Katy] to make it fit. Loved walking away with a new skill, a sense of accomplishment and connection – not to mention a great new top!

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