A week ago, I hosted a clothing swap! The intent was to subversively reject Black Friday, which has turned out to be today. Those who attended my swap were too polite to speak up about my error! Just goes to show how in touch I really am with consumerism. In any case, I wanted to write about the experience because we had a lovely evening.
The idea of a clothing swap is to trade clothes you no longer want with other people. The number of items you bring does not have to equal the number of items you take home. The clothes are piled in the centre of the room, and you take what you like. Anything that does not find a new home is donated to charity.
For our swap, I invited many people, but only a few were able to make it. It was nice to have a small gathering. Since there were just four of us, we could really help each other through the process of selecting clothing that looked nice on us.
When people arrived, we enjoyed some of the (ridiculously numerous) snacks that I had prepared and drank wine and homemade hard cider. When we determined that everyone had arrived, we dumped the clothes into one large pile on my rug. It was like a treasure hunt searching through the clothes mountain. I tried on a lot of things, and kept several. We each started our own ‘stash’ where we put the things that we wanted to keep. I found some really neat things, some that I would have picked up in a shop and many things that I likely wouldn’t have even tried on otherwise!
It was a wonderful evening filled with conversations and laughter with lovely people that I’m glad to call my friends. It was nice to choose clothes I liked without having to worry about the price tag or the environmental impact of my purchase. For all of us, what we brought to the swap were bags of clothing we were planning to get rid of anyway. I got rid of far more than I kept. And what I did end up keeping were things that freshened up my wardrobe in unexpected ways! We all enjoyed ourselves so much that we plan on having another gathering in the springtime!
How to host your own clothing swap:
- Set the date – if you’re trying to coordinate it with a special event day, be sure to check your calendar!
- Invite your friends! I invited lots of people, but the party ended up being small. I would say, smaller is better. Although I’ve not hosted a large clothing swap, it might get ugly if people were fighting over the same items!
- Find a full length mirror to set in the shared space, near where the pile of clothes will be
- Create a ‘change room’ (We used my bathroom), but most people just changed in the common space. I wore a tight tank top and just changed in front of my friends.
- Prepare some snacks
- Gather. Explain the process. If there are disputes over who should get what item, have a vote – the person who is voted to look the best in the item of clothing takes the prize!
- Have fun!!!
- Take remaining items to your local thrift store, so they can find a new home.