The Swap Shop was held under the guidance of Rassada Municipality, with Mayor Phudit Raksarat lending a hand in organising the event and in collaboration with the Andaman Natural Resources Conservation Foundation (ANRCF) with Samran Sinthong, secretary of the ANRCF Southern Thailand area, also joining the team.
The Phuket SWAPSHOP coordinators Sarha Robinson and Yoana Vastrée Estevez not only decided to do something against the excessive waste of products by giving locals the possibility to swap pre-loved treasures rather than throwing them away, but also connected sustainability, charity and local support into one event.
“Our relaunch on July 4 was a huge success!” said Sarha. “Over 200 people decluttered their houses and swapped to their heart’s content at the Grind Cafe,” Yoana agreed happily; “I could not believe my eyes when I saw so many people lovingly share their beautiful possessions. We were amazed by the constant flow of clothes, books, shoes, homeware and more!”
Phuket SWAPSHOP collaborates with different venues each time to support local businesses, which is very important in these difficult times.
“We had many people reach out to us such as organic farms and vegetarian restaurants who are all involved in making sustainable living reality,” Sarha explained.
“The big focus of the July 4 event was to raise funds for children under the care of the Life Home Project Foundation,” she added.
The Life Home Foundation is a non-profit organisation with the goal of preventing the spread of HIV, as well as helping HIV-infected/affected people and AIDS patients. The foundation first acted as a hospice for women with AIDS with the main purpose of establishing a self-reliant and sustainable shelter by offering vocational training and education for HIV affected women and their children, as well as helping HIV-positive persons and AIDS patients in the community and in hospitals.
The Life Home Foundation receives no government funding and relies entirely on private donations.
The success of the Phuket SWAPSHOP relaunch will see another event held in the south of the island, at RawFitness in Nai Harn on July 27. This event will be in conjunction with the Andaman Natural Resources and Conservation Foundation, which will be holding a beach cleanup at Nai Harn beach that morning.
“We are so grateful that we can help so many people at the same time,” said Sarha. “We will support the ANRCF in their mission to promote sustainable living and caring for the environment, we will help local businesses by bringing in a lot of visitors and we will give the local community a chance to SWAP and find new treasures. It’s an amazing collaboration of awesomeness!”
If you want to give back to Phuket and support the community, make sure you follow and like Phuket SWAPSHOP’s Facebook page to stay updated about future events: https://www.facebook.com/phuketswapshop/
“We encourage everyone to come, see and take part – and remember, all this helps to raise funds for children in need!”
Raw Fitness is located 90/6 Moo 1 Saiyan-Nai Harn, Viset Road, 83130, Rawai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket. (Click here for map.)