It’s not often that a metropolitan city gets to experience Collaborative Consumption in the epicentre of its most famous intersection. Yet, for the last three years, Torontonians have been able to take part in a massive community swap at Yonge-Dundas Square—equivalent to New York’s Times Square—where they can “shop” without spending a dime. The swap meets are inspired by the vision of making barter accessible to Canadians and showing there is value beyond money.
“A brilliant and fun idea that helps the planet and the wallets.” commented a participant as she left the Swap Zone.
“Got enough new-to-me books to last me and my family for months – for free” tweeted another swapper.
These highly popular events are organized by Toronto-based Swapsity.ca, a social enterprise that champions the swapping movement in Canada, both online and offline. The Swapsity Swap Zone engages participants of all ages in Collaborative Consumption, demonstrating that media should be loved not landfilled, shared not stashed and that clutter can become currency.
The stats of these swapathons are impressive, to say the least. To date, Toronto swappers have amassed more than $200,000 in savings, recycled 30,000+ items and swapped over 25,000 things at the Swap Zone. Yet, the true value of the experience lies not in these numbers but in the human aspect of swapping. The events facilitate face-to-face exchanges of personal items, bringing people together and making participants feel empowered.
In the words of veteran swapper, Meka Jones, “It’s so empowering! Even if you’re working a lousy job, you still have skills and stuff in your house that you can swap.”
Get the full scoop on Swapsity blog.