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What are clothing swaps?

In a clothing swap, groups of people gather to exchange clothing that they no longer wear from someone’s else’s wardrobe which helps in responsibly rehoming clothes that might no longer have a value to you, but could just be the right thing that someone else needed in their wardrobe. In a world Thriving on overproduction of clothes, Clothing swap is away to extend the lifetime of clothing that we already own, making having a fancy wardrobe more economic.

Why is a clothing Swap needed?

Every year as result of poor recycling rates, and inefficient recycling facilities, and increasing fast fashion brands, millions of tonnes of textile waste is being sent to the landfills making it one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. Due to the heavily increased consumer demands the clothing production is only increasing and all that excess production is badly impacting our environment, cotton for example is water intensive and heavily relies on pesticides and fertilizers, and the production of synthetic fibers pollute our rivers and oceans badly endangering our environment. To cope with all this clothing swap is a better alternative since it is a zero waste strategy, plus swapping clothes is sustainable and eco friendly too and contributes towards circular fashion.

How to Host a Clothing Swap event?

Clothing swaps can be done as a small cloth exchange gathering between friends or as a big venue event which requires entry fees and tickets, but irrespective of how largescale the event is there are some basic tips to a clothing swap one could follow, such as;

  • Decide a category for the types of clothes that people are going to bring to the clothing swap, and if it’s going to be for men only or women or both, this would help in organizing the event better, and shortlisting the number of people that are going to be invited based on their like or dislike for the particular type of clothing so that you can have a better idea at your target audience.
  • Set some ground rules for the event, such as Quality over quantity, no holes or missing buttons, stains as such and how many pieces of clothing can one bring or take home, so that everyone gets a fair chance at some nice pieces of clothing.
  • Choose the right venue to accommodate the number of people you’re planning to invite comfortably.
    Spread the word and advertise the swap exchange, also curate a detailed invite for the people who are planning to come, letting them know of the timings, venue, ground rules, clothing category
  • A few essentials that would certainly help manage the event could be- mirror, clothing hangers, clothing racks, an iron, seating, private changing area, labels on clothing and some good lighting to make the clothes stand out.
  • Also serving some snacks and drinks could be a good idea to keep it lively and engaging for the people.

After the swap exchange, donating all the leftover clothes to a shelter could be a good idea, or those can be used in the next swap as well.

What are the Challenges of Clothing swaps?

Clothing swaps certainly are financially inclusive, more economical, and sustainable but there are still some limitations to it that people hosting clothing swaps have repeatedly faced, such as very few men visiting the clothing swaps and finding it difficult to acquire clothing that they could exchange with, also plus sized people often have difficulties getting clothes of their size, as clothing swaps don’t generally have a size restriction. Moreover if you are a style oriented person finding something that matches your own style could be problematic as well and a lot of times people aren’t able to find something exchange-worthy with the pieces of clothing they brought with them.

What are the benefits of a Clothing swap?

Clothing swap comes with both economic and environmental benefits, as it is both pocket friendly and sustainable. Clothes swaps help exchange clothes for free with the unwanted clothing that might have been there in your closet forever helping in creating a more sustainable wardrobe. It helps in saving money. With clothing swaps we can go for the environment friendly no waste strategy while finding fits to our liking. Also meeting new people, forming connections over similar styles or just hanging out with friends are some added advantages to the clothing swap benefits list.

What are some clothing swapping platforms?

Some good clothing swap platforms are:

  • Swap.com- They don’t exactly swap but sell the clothes after you send them and give you the money, and if they get rejected they put them up for recycling.
  • ThreadUp- Similar to swap.com you send your clothes and they put them up for marketable prices, and if they don’t get sold out, the site donates them
  • Meetup Groups- Depending on your geographical location you may or may not have meet up groups in your vicinity, but if you do then you take your clothes to exchange them with the ones from other’s wardrobes.
  • Vinted- As well as giving users the opportunity to sell second-hand clothing, Vinted also allows people to swap clothes with one another if they want to.
  • Swopped- As well as swapping your clothes they also recycle your old ones.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, Clothing swap is environment friendly with zero waste generated, and a fun way to declutter and revamp your wardrobe while cutting back on storage space while there are many other added advantages, these were the ones I hope could convince you into trying out a clothing swap party for once yourself.

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