Have you heard of a clothing swap? Because if you haven’t, this is going to change your life.
I recently attended my first swap and I have to say, it was life-changing. I caught up with old friends, made some new ones, and watched as old clothes became new again.
Here’s the deal:
A bunch of girls (or guys) get together, eat good food, drink delicious beverages and bring all their old clothes in good condition that they no longer wear. Once everyone arrives, clothes are tried on, and you get to take home whatever your heart pleases. No money involved. You leave everything that you came with, and hopefully leave with some awesome “new” items that no longer have to end up at the dump.
It doesn’t have to stop at clothes. You can bring purses, shoes, makeup (preferably new), hair products, jewellery, hats, etc. It’s basically a free for all and an awesome reason to get together.
What happens with the clothes that no one wants? That’s up to the host-and it’s awesome.
Here’s how to make it work:
I’ve seen these swaps held at salons, churches, homes, yards, wherever. Just make sure you have places to lay out the clothes and potentially hang up some items. Rotate through different locations to keep things fresh and fun! It can be held anywhere and the place doesn't have to be big. No one cares, as long as there are clothes to be tried on, a place to try them on and a mirror.
You’re hosting a fun event! Have some fun food! But if making a Charcuterie tray isn’t really your style, have everyone bring chips and dip with their clothes or make it a theme night. Finger food anyone? Keep it casual, but make sure no one starves…there is usually wine served at these things (oh-and everyone usually brings a bottle, it’s only polite).
Borrow some clothing racks, clothespins, and hangers or hang some heavy duty rope between some trees to hang clothes around your yard. It’s easier for everyone to see the items if they are able to sort through a rack like they would at a department store, but it doesn't have to be fancy. For heaven's sake, don't spend a ton of money buying clothing racks you'll never use again!
Lay out T-shirts, pants, athletic clothes and casual wear on a bed or couch so everyone can see all the items. Have a separate area for bags, jewellery, hats, shoes and other random items. Make sure YOUR OWN random items aren’t grouped in or someone might walk away with your new shoes or lipstick!
This is not Boxing Day at Costco. If someone grabs something before you, so be it. This is a clothing swap, if you walk away with something, great. If you don’t, you still had a good time, right? No fighting! Remember, these can potentially happen every season. You want to be invited back! Look at the great stuff these ladies found...including a delicious dip.
Try on something you thought you would never wear! What’s the harm? If no one else wants it and you only wear it once, bring it back to the next swap. Here I am with only a FRACTION of my amazing finds (I've already worn that green shirt).
Now, you may think leaving all those clothes with the host is a burden, but I think it’s awesome. The host gets to decide where all the clothing is going. At my particular swap, the host decided the clothing would go to a charity in Burundi for woman and children. How awesome is that? No matter what, the clothing does NOT end up going in the garbage. Talk about incredibly stylish recycling! And it was such a good time.
If you don’t know of anyone who holds a clothing swap, start one up yourself! Plan one for when the weather is beginning to change, think seasonal changes, when people are emptying their closets and going through all their clothes. Contact your friends, pick a place and do it! And if you send me an invite, I’ll totally come. Just sayin’.