The truth is that we buy too many clothes. Sometimes, it’s so cheap, that is cheaper than a subway ticket. And that is the problem, we buy clothes in excess, much more than we can afford. If you think we have too many clothes and something needs to be done about it, discover the clothing Swap Party
How many times have you been unable to elude the urge to buy that dress or that sweater that you then have no idea how to combine? How many clothes do you have in a corner of the wardrobe and you don’t remember having it? Are you one of the ones that have the typical dress or pants saved for when you lose those extra pounds? Then the clothing Swap Party is the solution for you.
But later we will talk about that. Now, let’s focus on the problematic.
The clothes we throw away generate a lot of waste
Have you ever stopped to think about how many clothes you have thrown away in your whole life? Well, I can tell you: a lot. It’s estimated that every year North Americans send 9.5 million tonnes of clothing to the landfill, while in the UK, each person put eight items in the bin for a value of almost £500.
If you start making numbers, it’s a lot, isn’t it? When you think about it, it doesn’t sound so strange that the textile industry (the second most polluting in the world) sells 80 billion pieces a year worldwide. And not only that, but it does it at a fast pace and with low cost prices.
Think that all the clothes you throw accumulate along with other people’s clothes. And all that, finally, becomes tons of waste. Recently, I was reviewing facts and figures about it. Thanks to this, I discovered that in the European Union only 25% of the more than 16 million tons of textile waste generated each year is recycled.
That means that, although a percentage goes to recycling bins, clothing remains difficult to manage. And because of that, it becomes an important source of pollution. To this data, add the 92 million tons of waste generated by the textile referring only to production. A negligible 4% of all waste in the world.
A Swap Party is the solution
If fortunately, you have begun to reflect on what to do with so many clothes and have decided to lead a more sustainable life with your planet, or if you simply cannot put more clothes in your wardrobe and you hate yourself for that, keep reading this post! In it, I propose a very good solution: the Swap Party. It’s based on a single basic principle: the trade of lifelong clothing. It’s just like the one you used to do with your friends when you wanted to get more variety of clothes to wear at parties or meetings. Or also when you simply wanted to vary in style without investing money.
The Swap Party is the best idea to fight compulsive shopping and empty your wardrobe quickly. It consists of adding a partying touch to the exchange of yesteryear. During the clothing swap, not only trade is made with the clothes, there is also something to snack and drink. In fact, it can even be more formal if you want it. They can be like the typical tupperware meetings that were done before, or as the most up-to-date in which the turmix is tested.
What do you do in a clothing Swap Party?
At these parties or meetings, clothes, shoes, and accessories are exchanged. First, you select from your wardrobe a previously agreed number of garments (usually five to seven), good accessories or shoes. They are outfits that must be in good condition, and that you have decided not to use anymore or that you have never used. Believe me, buying something and not using it usually happens more times than you can imagine;)
The accessories and garments you choose are exchanged with other people. Of course, each person who comes has also contributed their own. And, in that way, you have the opportunity to update your wardrobe a bit.
Would you like to participate in a Swap Party? Well, here are some tricks so you know what to do.
Choosing the clothes that you will take to the swap
It’s very easy, and there is a basic criterion to know what to take to a Swap Party. What you should do is think about what you would lend to your best friend. If, on the other hand, you think the clothing is for the recycling container, then you should not take it to the trade.
Keep in mind that clothes must be in good condition. That is, without stains, or holes, and of course, washed and ironed. Think about this, how would you like the apparel you choose to take you home? Well, the one you give must be the same. Imagine that the clothes smell like stored or have moisture stains. That would show little concern. Also, check that there are no missing buttons and that the zippers work.
Choosing the clothes that you will take home
To choose the clothes that you are going to take from the Swap Party, there are some golden rule.
- Choose only what you really need.
- Do not take more clothes than you have contributed. In this way, the exchange is dignified and sustainable. It’s not about refilling our wardrobe with things that we will not use later. This is a golden rule that I apply in general, so for every new item that comes into my wardrobe, another one must come out.
Now that you know a little more about them, would you like to organize your own Swap Party? If so, read on, because here are some ideas.
Good ideas to host a clothing Swap Party
The first thing you should do is organize all the clothes you have received. Organizing them by sizes is a good idea. A typical way is putting them together by groups of S, M, L and XL. In some Swap Parties, clothing is divided according to the estimate of its original value. For instance, a group of cheap clothes, another with which it has an average price, and another with the clothes of the highest range. I personally have not participated in any in which it was done in this way. However, it may be a good idea for some people to feel that the trade has been more equitable.
Once the clothes are organized, I have to talk about the dynamics during the party. Ideally, each person exposes their clothes. Sometimes, telling a little story or some detail that makes the clothing ‘special’ is a way to give your clothing a more personal stamp.
I remember a clothing swap in which I explained the story of a dress. It was the one I took one day that I had to make a presentation in front of a lot of people that I had not seen in my life. At that moment, I felt an urgent need to be powerful, serious, capable of everything, and above all, safe. So I chose a tight white and beige sleeveless dress. In addition, it had embroidered flowers in black.
It was a beautiful dress, and I used it a lot before my pregnancies, heh, heh. The story liked it, and it was taken by a girl who looked fantastic. I felt very proud of its new owner. And I sincerely wish that, if I ever put it on for a special occasion, it would give her the push it gave me at the time, that push that only a beautiful piece of clothing can give you.
What do you gain by participating in a Party Swap?
First, you give a second life to what you no longer use. Also, you renew your wardrobe without spending money and in a very creative way.
In addition, by recycling your clothes, you do your bit to make our planet more sustainable. And, as I always say, there is nothing more sustainable than what already exists!
On the other hand, by reusing you also help others reuse, and in this way, you educate by preaching with your example. Wow, better than that, impossible!
And finally, you help reduce clothing waste and practice Zero Waste.
A Swap party can be more than that. I tell you my last experience
With the illusion of demonstrating that other alternatives to fashion consumption are possible; Ceci, Dani, Ánikka and I, all friends of my sustainability group in Switzerland (link Nomad lean in circle-Vevey) organize a fun clothing swap in one of our houses. On October 3, our modest call exceeded our expectations with more than 20 participants.
As a team, we had thought that it was necessary to give a more reflective touch to the mere fact of exchanging clothes and renewing the wardrobe. We spent weeks planning how to do it. It was important for us a swap consistent with our idea of being aware when buying and remembering at every moment that we are the change. We have the wallet, therefore we decide.
A moment for reflection
Before starting the exchange, we had a beautiful and inspiring moment in which everyone present reflected on the importance of knowing the stories behind our clothes. We also talk that every pound of clothing that is reused and not incinerated prevents the emission of 7000 pounds of C02, according to data from the European Commission.
Then, the trips to the tables began, smiles in front of the mirror in two improvised changing rooms, and the illusion to find a new favorite dress. We even have a small homemade catering organized by the hostess and some bottles of wine from which I never got to know where they came from.
A Swap Party with a happy end…
After finishing our selection of clothes, we did a Kahoot. An online questionnaire that appears on the TV and you can answer with the mobile phone. In this questionnaire, we asked questions about some of the topics we talked about at the beginning. But also it was a way to know a little more if they had a good time, what things they thought we should improve or what they considered had been great.
And what happened to the clothes that were leftover. Well, almost everything was saved for our next clothing swap, because there is no first without second or third!
So, do you dare to organize your own Swap Party? Are you ready for a Swap Party near where you live? What do you say?