Ready for a new wardrobe, but don't want to break the bank buying new pieces? Consider a clothing swap! Not only is it a free way to mix up your outfits, but it is also eco-friendly, keeping clothing out of the landfill and avoiding the huge environmental toll of creating new garments. Gather a few close friends, or even a larger group, and bring articles of clothing to exchange for fun new looks- it's actually really easy!
After participating in several swaps of our own, we offer these essential tips before hosting your own clothing exchange.
- each participant should bring only 5-10 pieces to trade, any more than that quickly becomes overwhelming...everything should be clean, in good repair, still in style, and appropriate for the current season
- choose a location with plenty of space to spread out the clothing, or bring some rolling racks to hang items...also consider having a changing room on site
- bring clothing that fit a range of sizes, and feel free to bring a few shoes and accessories as well...make sure every participant will have items to choose, regardless of her size
- don't make the party difficult by trying to coordinate food and drink- let the clothes be the star of the show, or stick to simple appetizers and a bottle of bubbly
- your friends shouldn't have to take the exact number of items that they brought- approximate numbers are fine, and usually people will take less than they brought
- at the end, the participants can reclaim their clothing that wasn't chosen, or designate a person to take everything left over to a local charity... at our local Phoenix swap, we started giving the remaining clothes to an outreach with refugees
- consider making your swap a regular event, such as once a season, or host a themed exchange such as "children's," "home decor," or "formal night"
Have you attended a clothing swap, or held one of your own? Tell us all about it in the comments below, as well as any advice you might have for the newbies. Bravo for taking this step toward a more sustainable and conscious lifestyle!