Not only are clothing swaps a fun excuse to get together and spend time with friends, they are an economical, ethical, and eco-friendly way to expand your wardrobe. They’re like thrifting for free!
Here’s what we did for our swap:
We asked our friends to clean out their closets and bring any clothing, shoes or accessories that were in good condition. We borrowed several garment racks and had our friends hang up their clothes as they arrived. (Next time, we will ask our guests to bring their clothes on hangers! We ran out of them very quickly!)
We had 12 people attend, which seemed like a good number. More than that would have been harder to organize and direct. But by having 12 people, we ended up with a great variety of sizes and styles!
Once all of the clothing was laid out or hung up, we set people loose to ‘shop’. Folks grabbed anything that looked interesting to them and tried it on. We saw a lot of handoffs: “Oh, this didn’t fit me quite right but it would look great on you!” and “This looks like your style. Here try, it on!” which made the event very encouraging. It feels good to have your friends suggest clothing items for you!
We had a couple different areas available for changing and provided a full-length mirror so everyone could clearly see how things fit them. As people claimed items, they put them in a bag they brought with them so they wouldn’t be grabbed by another swapper by mistake.
When the swapping was complete and everyone had something they liked to take home, Ellie and I went through all of the remaining clothing, sorting into two piles: send to ThredUp (*referral link) and donate to Goodwill. We ended up with two ThredUp (* referral link) clean out bags very full of barely worn clothing, and 4 trash bags full of clothing to donate to Goodwill.
If you don’t want to organize a swap on your own, there are many clothing swaps that are already happening! You may be surprised what you find if you search for “<the name of your city> clothing swap”! In Austin, even our library system hosts a clothing swap!
Tell us if you have participated in a swap or if you are planning on hosting a swap! If you already have, share a photo of something you swapped on Instagram with the hashtag #DressWellDoGood! We would love to have you join us in this ethical fashion conversation! And of course, don’t forget to follow us over on Instagram at @DressWellDoGood and subscribe to receive blog posts via e-mail.