We love swapping because it adds life to your clothes and clothes to your life.
Adding life to your clothes is good for the planet.
And adding clothes to your life is good for you!
The bad news is that buying new clothes isn’t kind to the planet and every new item has an impact.
Nylon and polyester are made from petrochemicals and they aren’t biodegradable. Nylon creates nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas – and polyester production requires huge amounts of water. Viscose and rayon are made from wood pulp but forest is often cleared to create plantations and the pulp treated with hazardous chemicals.
Even natural fabrics create problems – cotton is the most pesticide-intensive crop in the world and wool workers are affected by the chemicals that are used for sheep dip.
And we haven’t even got to the bleaches, dyes and flame retardants that are used when the clothes are made, the working conditions of the people who are involved in making them or the problem of disposing of them when they reach the end of their life.
This doesn’t make us happy because we love our clothes. We think that clothes should be a source of joy. As well as keeping us cosy in the winter and cool in the summer (not to mention covering up our naughty bits), they brighten our day and boost our confidence.
We don’t want our passion to harm the planet or the people and animals that live on it but eco-friendly organic clothing isn’t within everybody’s price range – and that’s where clothes swaps come to the rescue. They help to save the planet because they extend the life of our clothes and they reduce the number of new clothes that we buy. And they enable us to revamp our style without having to splash the cash.
Every quarter we do a stock check and remove any items that are looking a bit worse for wear or we have seen hanging around for months on end and replace them with fresh ones. We then donate our spare items to charity. If you have a favourite charity that could take our clothing donations please let us know and we may send some their way!
And – as if these benefits weren’t enough – if you become a swapper you’ll discover that:-
Swaps are fun.
They are much more fun than trawling around the shops (and we say this as women who love to shop). They are friendly and sociable and not intimidating at all. You won’t find rooms full of waif-like fashionistas who can recite this season’s trends better than a staffer at Vogue (but if you are a waif-like fashionista you’re obviously welcome too. 🙂 You can point the rest of us in the right direction!)
Many women come on their own and there is always time to chat between the drop-off and the start of the swap – and to compare the treasures that you’ve found afterwards. As well as showing off the items that you have discovered, you can have fun celebrating the finds of others. It’s even better when their new-found passion is an item that you brought along. – and we are certainly happy to chat to you. We like to share our passion.
Swappers come back again and again so if you come to more than one swap, you’ll start to see familiar faces.
(And if you are part of a group or a company that has a suitable venue available, and you are thinking about dipping your toe into the water, speak to us about setting up a pop-up swap. We organise everything – you just need to spread the word).
It’s not hard to find something new to love – whatever your size, age or taste.
If you wear clothes, you can find something to suit you at a swap. Swapping attracts all sizes, ages and tastes so it’s not hard to find items to add to your wardrobe. Even if you find it hard to find clothes that fit well when you are shopping (and let’s face it, this applies to most of us!) this won’t hold you back at a swap. There are always a wide range of sizes available and we always have a stock of accessories to choose from. (As a ‘bag-lady’ I’ve never found a handbag that didn’t fit me).
We bring lots of items so if few swappers turn up, you’ll still have lots of choice.
If lots of swappers turn up, you won’t lose out either. The number of items can’t go down during a swap because swappers can’t take away more than they bring – so more swappers means more clothes.
And although we think that we will want the same items as our fellow swappers, they will probably surprise you by rushing past to claim things that you’re not interested in. Apart from any damage to your ego, this means that you have a good chance of landing something new to love.
Swapping makes you more stylish.
Swapping can massively improve your wardrobe because you can take more chances when you are not paying for items. This means that you can test out styles and patterns that are usually outside your comfort zone. You’ll find that some of them are outside your comfort zone for good reason but some of the results will be unexpectedly fabulous. The more you swap, the more you can develop your sense of style.
You can give your new look a proper test drive too. Instead of a quick glance in the harsh lights of a changing room mirror, you can wear your new items in real life and discover if they suit your lifestyle as well as your looks.
And you can wave goodbye to the problem of having a wardrobe full of clothes but ‘nothing to wear’ because when you are regularly revamping your clothes, you won’t get stuck in a rut.
Swapping can be addictive.
You may come to your first swap for practical, clutter clearing, cost conscious reasons but you’ll probably come back because it will spark a passion for clothes. Swapping not only adds life to your (unwanted) clothes, it gives your wardrobe a new life too.