I had a new experience at the weekend… I attended my first clothes swap and it was brilliant!
I’ve heard about clothes swaps before and even intended to go along to one I’d heard about a couple of years ago but never managed to make it in the end, so the concept of clothes swapping was pretty much forgotten for me after that. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I received a Facebook invite to a clothes swap taking place just outside of Sheffield city centre, to raise funds for a mission trip.
I decided to go along and try it out but I wasn’t sure what to expect although, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting it to be a great experience. It sounded too good to be true to simply take along a selection of unwanted garms and expect to replace them with fab, new additions to your wardrobe.
So, I turned up at St Thomas’ Church Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon with a couple of friends and a mild hangover. We each paid our £4 to get in and handed over our carrier bags of clothing that we no longer had a use for.
“Bring what you don’t use, take what you need.”
We were greeted by a selection of tables, rails and even radiators that were draped with clothes, hats and belts, along with a selection of shoes and bags arranged on the floor. I sceptically began rifling through the clothes on the first table I came to and was thrilled when I pulled out a top that was totally my style. My friend followed suit with an item of clothing that took her fancy and then that was it, we were well and truly away, and my hangover was long forgotten!
All three of us managed to find a good few items that we liked, so we were chuffed. The ethos of this clothes swap was “Bring what you don’t use, take what you need.” All clothes, shoes, accessories and even bedding were accepted as long as they were clean and in good condition, so there was a good selection of quality items to choose from – no moth eaten, sweaty t-shirts to be found here.
This event even provided guests with free refreshments, so as we took a break from our swapping to enjoy a cup of tea and slice of flapjack, I was thrilled to spot a couple of people picking up items of clothing from the table that I had donated. It was a buzz to see the items of clothing that you no longer had a use for going to a good home!
Apparently, clothes swaps began in the early 1980s, in response to the increase in consumer culture and they have grown in popularity ever since. It’s a thrifty way to revive your wardrobe and be environmentally conscious at the same time, ensuring unwanted clothing does not simply go to waste.
You can read more here about the clothes swapping sensation in America.
I left the event with a lovely knitted green dress, a beach dress and a belt, and my friends took away a selection of treats too. I, personally, am now a clothing swap convert and cannot wait to find another local event to attend!