The fashion industry is one of the most environmentally destructive and unsustainable industries in the world. Fast fashion has led to brands designing and manufacturing clothes of low-quality, which often fall apart after a few washes. This means that although people are buying more clothes than ever, they are also disposing of more.
According to the Council for Textile Recycling, in the U.S., more than 25 billion pounds of clothing are thrown away every year, and only 18% of wasted clothing is recycled. However, some brands are leading the way in trying to reduce the environmental and social costs of clothing production. ASOS for instance, have launched their own program called ‘Fashion with Integrity’, which promotes the rights of factory workers and the use of more sustainable materials in their clothing.
Clothing swaps are a fantastic way to get rid of clothes you don’t want and get something you do want in return. Whether you can’t fit into your jeans anymore or you just don’t like the orange sweater you bought last week, clothing swaps are a sustainable alternative to throwing items away. Sharing three top tips for hosting a clothing swap, which could come in handy if you’ve never hosted one before or if your last swap didn’t go very well.
1. Have rules
Create a list of rules which you can send to all of the participants ahead of the event. For example, create guidelines to let people know how many items they should bring to the clothing swap.
I recommend specifying both a minimum and maximum amount of items (e.g. five and make sure that everybody is aware that only quality items in a good state of repair will be accepted). There is nothing worse than someone trying to swap a pair of ratty old boots for a pair of nearly-new Levis!
2. Create a changing room
Not everyone is comfortable getting changed in front of others, so have one or two rooms available for trying on. Even if you only invite your best friends, clothing swaps always benefit from having somewhere participants can try on items of clothing. Make sure that every changing room has a mirror though, otherwise there isn’t much point in trying anything on!
3. Keep it organized
Depending on where you are hosting the clothing swap party, it may be possible to display clothing items in less of a jumble-sale style, by instead having different areas for different items of clothing. If you are very organized, you could even create display signs!
Remember that the most important part of holding a clothing swap is having fun! So make sure there are plenty of drinks and nibbles available to keep guests entertained when they are not contemplating their swaps!