I know that on Friday I wrote about living with less- and I still stand by that post- I love the less is more concept however just because one is living with less doesn't mean one passes up the opportunity to a) further clean out her closet and b) get some new, free clothes! Lets rewind for a second here and start with a few facts- cause I am nerdy like that and I enjoy wowing people! Fact- Americans (and Canadians) dispose of over 11 million tonnes of clothing each year- that is on average 65 pounds of textiles per person each year! Crazy business! Fear not there are plenty of ways to keep perfectly good clothes out of the landfill and this past weekend a group of ladies in Vancouver's West End did their part to help out by attending a clothing swap.
There is most definitely a recipe to hosting a successful clothing swap- first invite a wide range of guests- include friends of all shapes and sizes- often people have things that no longer fit that they are wishing to get rid of. Send out your emails well in advance so friends can really dig through their closets- send out reminders a week or so before the date just to remind everyone. Host the event at the end of a season- everyone is always looking to update their wardrobe after wearing the same clothes for the past few months. Also include in the swap- accessories, books/ magazines and children's clothes- this was the best part of our swap- Miss Lo has recently had a growth spurt and I had a large bag full of really good items with no where to go- now they will have a second life.
The day of the swap- put out tables and label where items are to go- for example all the pants in one area and skirts in another. Full length mirrors are a must for trying on- having a couple of mirrors is great. Of course for me the best bit of any party is the snacks- so have some yummy snacks and a couple of bottles of wine cracked open- some good music and you are set to go.
Our hostess did an excellent job- it really was such a fun party- while I did manage to go home with a lot less than I came to the party with I did snag a few really great items- including this DVF dress and a wonderful hand knit sweater! The fun bit about clothing swaps is you never know what you are going to find- you can try things with zero risk and if they don't work out then just bring them back to the next swap! Not only are clothing swaps fun but you really are keeping huge amounts of textiles out of the landfill- whatever is left behind at the end of a swap can be donated to a local women's shelter or other charity.
In my opinion any after noon spent trying on clothes and drinking wine with my friends is an afternoon well spent- if the cost to me was nothing then all the better! As I have mentioned before I like clothes- I really do- I enjoy everything about the fabric in our lives. What I don't enjoy is the excess amount, the way manufactures are cheaply turning out disposable fashion- a clothing swap is an excellent solution for so many of these moral dilemmas that face me when shopping. So the next time you have that bog bag of clothes sitting in the back of your closet waiting to be dropped off at the thrift store- maybe instead invite over a few friends and shop each other's closets!