Rochdale theater group to host women-only ‘clothes and story swap’ event

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A theater troupe is set to hold a women-only ‘clothes and stories swap’ event, to encourage people to wear pre-loved clothes.

Theater in Flow, a Moss Bridge Road-based theater company committed to ‘championing marginalized voices’, is hosting the event on Saturday 23 April at the Touchstones Museum.

Women are encouraged to bring their old clothes and share the stories around them in an effort to help people appreciate the clothes they have.

Artistic lead Liz Mytton said the idea came from the back of their Women’s Supper Club, a safe space for women marginalized due to poverty, homelessness, mental health, disability, domestic violence, refugee status or other personal circumstances.

She said: “It’s to encourage people to think about how they use their clothes. It’s about stories around clothes and encouraging people to wear pre-loved clothes. We don’t have to wear new clothes.

“We are a theater company, so we like to tell stories. It’s my lucky pants, it’s the shirt I wore when I met my boyfriend – it’s that kind of thing.

“All clothes have stories, so this is an opportunity to share those stories and also swap clothes.”

The event will also include games, bingo and a quiz as well as the opportunity to share clothes and stories.

Liz added that it was important to have women-only spaces to discuss issues, as she says there is a lot of pressure on women to look a particular way.

“I just think it’s really important that women sometimes have a space where they can be themselves, where their voices aren’t muffled,” she said.

“Some of the women we work with sometimes feel quite vulnerable in shared spaces – especially women who have experienced domestic violence. Emotionally you feel safe if there are only women there.

Liz hopes the event will encourage women to appreciate the important role the clothes they own have had in their lives.

She said: “We just want people to share; it can be body image, pressure to buy new clothes, or outfits that have been passed down.

“Part of it is honoring the role that certain outfits have had. It helps people appreciate the clothes they wear so we can get rid of this throwaway culture a bit.

The event takes place at Touchstones on Saturday, April 23 from 2-5 p.m.

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