If you’re trying to buy less and be more sustainable a clothing swap is a fun way to get new to you clothes and spending time with friends without spending a lot of money. Clothing Swaps are perfect for finding random and new styles you didn’t know you needed until you see it. It’s also a fun way to shop your friends clothes you’ve been envying for a while without saying so.
My friend Chloe, hosts a clothing swap for the women in our church once a season or so. I appreciate the work she puts into each event. She kindly let me ask her questions on how she hosts her clothing swap.
When I asked how to organize a clothing swap, she said “Honestly organizing is pretty simple. I always wonder if people will come so I guess that is the hardest part but so far it has been a success even when I only had 4 people show. The best part about a swap is trying on things you wouldn’t normally look at in stores and feeling like you have been shopping/ have a new wardrobe without spending any money.”
These events are super fun when you have a few or several people come, be sure to pick a date and time that works with most of your invitees. Of course, food & drinks always make these events more fun. If planning these details are too much ask for your attendees to bring a snack or drink to share! Problem solved.
When folks arrive be sure folks leave their personal items; coats and purses in a space other than the room where the swap is happening. You don’t want anyone shopping through items not for the swap.
Sort clothes by type for easy ‘shopping’; dresses, pants/denim, skirts, long sleeves, short sleeves, tanks, and accessories. You’ll need a place to hang clothes, and table tops for pants and accessories.
Once everyone arrives have them sort the clothes they’ve brought. This is a fun time to talk and slyly peruse what others have brought. Before people begin shopping, encourage kindness and to not go crazy. Pick out a few places for trying on clothes, make sure everyone knows where the mirrors and bathrooms are.
Finish your Clothing Swap with a photo of the group, and ask folks if they want to take their items home that weren’t shopped by others. If they don’t want too, items left can be donated to a local resale shop.
Chloe: I donate the clothes to goodwill after. I have had way too many clothes left over every time to store or keep them all.
When I asked what is the best advice she could give to someone wanting to host their own clothing swap, she said, “My advice for someone wanting to host is just give it a try. What do you have to lose? Just designate a time and place and invite lots of people. If no one shows you end up with a free afternoon. If only a few show you you end up with a small social gathering. My experience is that people love the idea of free stuff and if you invite enough people someone will show.”
Will you be hosting a clothing swap with your friends and co-workers?