Thursday, August 4, 2011

D.I.Y. Clothing Swap

{a how to and reflection post}

Utilize Facebook! I created an open event for my recent clothing swap.  Everyone was able to RSVP, post their sizes and what they're bringing on the wall, and I was able to keep all the event info. in one spot!

Once you have a date and time, Organize! Go through your closet and have everyone else do the same.
Some suggestions:
*If you haven't worn it in over a year, swap it.
*If you don't love it, swap it.
*If you don't fit in it, swap it.
*If you still have the price tag on it, and didn't buy it that week, swap it!

Include Men's and Kids clothes.  Since we were mostly all mamas. we brought kids clothes and swapped them in a separate room.  Husband is ALWAYS needing new shirts, next time I'm going to suggest bringing spouses' clothes.  Cupcake is outgrowing her clothes quickly these days, so it was good to bring her's along too.

Have people bring food!  I asked everyone to bring organic food or drinks to make it more fun.  I brought organic tea and my sister brought organic fruit, one mama brought peach organic gluten free muffins.  Yum.

Be clear about clothing expectations!  I told everyone to bring the stained and damaged clothes, but keep them seperate, that way, if I {or anyone else} wanted to use the fabric for upcycling projects, we could.   Almost all of the clothes swapped were in great condition, I'll be posting tomorrow what I ended up with!

Find a large community space to swap in {or a hospitable home}! We met at Midwives Rising and hung up the clothes in the dining room, laid them out on the large table and even spread into the pillow room with the kids and baby clothes, shoes and maternity clothes.

The more the merrier.  I's really important to get a lot of people so you have  a lot of size and style choices!  We only had about 8-10 women show up and it was still a great success!

Have a fitting room.  We had folding screen and side rooms as fitting rooms, we made sure to have mirrors in all the areas for people to see what the clothes looked like on.  Although, we're not very modest and it was all women, we just stripped down and tried everything on right there.

I thought about using tickets or something to draw names out of a hat to decide who gets to pick next but I think an event that grows organically can work also.  It did for us, we didn't keep track of who brought what, we just laid everything out and then took turns going through our own sizes.  I think everyone was happy with what they found.   I know I was!

Donate the left overs.  Afterwards, we wrangled up everything that was unwanted and Katie brought it to our local women's shelter, Sojurner Center.  My friend used to work there and mentioned how most women come in with the clothes on them and that's it.  It felt really good knowing my used clothes were going to someone who NEEDS them.  It's a win win for everyone!

If you've got a closet full of clothes you're not wearing, swap them.  It really is that easy!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I saw this event on the Gentle Moms Meetup. Such a great idea...if only I had a size more easily shareable, I'd so be in!