Green Fashion Idea: Share clothing at a ‘Clothing Swap’

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A great time getting ‘new’ clothes and saving money

How many of us have clothes that we just don’t wear? Maybe they’ve been hanging in the closet (sometimes tags still on) for years, or are bagged up ready to be given away. I go through my wardrobe several times a year and until recently had three bags of old clothes, shoes, and accessories sitting in the attic. Normally I’d donate them but when I was invited to a “Clothes Swapping (scabbing) Party” I was happy that I’d procrastinated in taking them in.

A clothes swapping party is a gathering of people – friends, club members, or anyone really – who bring in unwanted items to give away. At the same time, they can help themselves to what other people have brought in. It’s a win-win situation.

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Two ‘new’ pair of boots, and a few shirts

A friend was the hostess of the party I went to and she invited us to hers on a Saturday afternoon. The idea was to mix a social with a swap so it started at 3pm and carried on until the evening.

On the day, I arrived to a tornado of clothes and laughter. The girls were all trying on items in a circle around a heap of colourful dresses on the floor. I added to it with my own and then got to digging through. There was just so much to sort through though! I don’t think any of us thought we’d have brought in so much.

After a fun afternoon of girlie chatter and laughs I went home with a few new things. Better yet, I gave some of my old pieces new homes. It cost nothing, saved money, and helped ease up on the environment by not having to buy new. I even went home with the two pairs of boots that I’d been looking for anyway.

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The fashion industry is one of the worst polluters worldwide

You might be surprised to hear that the fashion industry could be the second worst polluter of the environment after big oil. Each piece of clothing we wear was created in a factory somewhere in the world. In that factory raw materials were brought in, processed, dyed using toxic chemicals, and then shipped to your home country. In the process, the industry pollutes water sources, uses up energy, and creates a lot of waste.

Wearing second-hand clothing can help reduce this pollution. Whether you buy items at a charity shop or swap them at a party, you could be helping to reduce the amount of new clothes on the market. Buying fewer pieces of new clothing means less demand for more to be produced. You will also be reducing the amount of garments destined for the landfill.

Wearing second-hand saves money

Wearing second-hand can also ease up on your spending. The average household in Britain spends £1232.40 on new clothing and foot apparel each year. Women spend even more with estimates that the average UK woman will spend half a million pounds on fashion in her lifetime.

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Organising a Clothing Swap

If you can’t find a clothing swap in your area, you could organise one yourself. The way that my friend did it was to create a Facebook event and then invite her friends. Fifteen of us came and between us there was more than enough to go around – in all shapes and sizes.

Some of us had recently lost weight and brought our larger size garments. Some of us had gained and brought smaller. There were a lot of dresses and party clothes that were seldom worn and even a few handbags and shoes. Any clothing leftover on the day was taken to a local charity shop.

We were all comfortable with each other so did our changing in the same room the clothes were in. A large mirror and the opinions of others helped decide if an item was a keeper or not. If you wanted to though, another room could be designated as a dressing room.

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Online Clothing Swaps

Another way to swap clothes is to do it online. Swap Style is a global site where members can trade vintage, designer, and even handmade garments. Facebook has dozens of groups based on location, type of clothing, size, and more. You might lose out on being able to try items on but when you swap online there could be even more choice.

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2 Discussion to this post

  1. What a lovely idea (although maybe not so much for men, I am thinking). I fight the system another way: I simply have worn the same manner of clothing (until it wears out) for 30 years or more. I have been in and out of fashion more times than I can count.

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