You're going to a swap soon, right? Or you want to? Or maybe you just went to one!
(Please check our calendar page to learn about upcoming swaps and other events!)
Swaps are amazing for so many different reasons (blog post about why coming soon!), so here are some tips for what to do before, during, and after to make it even better.
New Yorkers throw away 200,000 tons of textiles (equivalent to about ~4,500 subway cars in weight); 10x as much textile waste is being tossed before consumers see the products. As these textiles decompose in landfills (~10-50 years for natural fibers; synthetics can take 200 years and will never fully break down) they generate GHG emissions directly contributing to climate change.
Tips for Clothing (& Accessory) Swaps
- Check what the swap is accepting. Typically anything wearable is welcome, but there are specialized swaps too. It'd be a bummer to lug a bag of shoes to a swap that won't accepting them.
- When selecting items - DOUBT MEANS DON'T. This is my rule for just about everything, especially consumption; but what it means is that if you're doubting it, you're probably not going to wear it and/or don't need it, so bring it to the swap.
- Invite friends! a. The more the merrier at a swap and b. your friends probably have similar taste to you so maybe you'll be able to grab something from them c. they can be an extra pair of eyes for the items on your list (more on that below).
- DON'T THROW OUT ITEMS THAT ARE DAMAGED! As you go through your closet you're bound to come across a sweater with a hole, but do not throw it out. Not only are there resources that accept damaged clothing, accessories, etc., but you can probably bring it to a local mending circle to fix it up!
- Make a list of items you're seeking. Take note of what you're getting rid of; maybe you want to replace it or upgrade it or want nothing to do with that type of item. Going into a swap knowing what you want is the best way to avoid overconsumption and getting overwhelmed.
- Don't feel like you have to walk away with something - bringing items to a swap, thus extending their life is a WIN in the books! Studies have shown that extending the life of clothing, even for a few months, has environmental, social, and political economic benefits!
- If you can, try things on! This is self explanatory
- Remind yourself that it's a party and act accordingly! Swaps with the best energy are those that are relaxed, welcoming, and encourage fun.
- Check the list of items you (& your friends) are looking for. A refresher can help keep you excited and/or calm and intentional.
- Ask the swap where the items that aren't swapped are going. It's always great to know where your clothes could end up!
- Care for your clothes. In a perfect world, if/when you get sick of the items you got at the swap, you can bring it to another swap because you properly cared for it.
- Care is more than washing and storing properly. Caring for clothes includes, but is not limited to mending, hemming, patching, and more.
- If you liked the swap, follow the organizer. They probably have more going on that you'd be interested in.
- If you didn't like the swap, consider telling the organizer why, in a constructive way, but don't let that be your last swap.
- When you wear something you got at the swap TELL EVERYONE YOU INTERACT WITH! Spread the word and get others in on this amazing party!
Have fun swapping, hopefully we'll see you at one of ours! (Sign up for emails to learn when/where they are!)
Reclypt’s Clothing Swap: A clothing swap is a gathering of people who exchange their valued but no longer used clothing for clothing they will use from someone else’s wardrobe. These swaps are an impactful and low-cost way to extend the life of our clothes, divert textiles from landfills, mix up your wardrobe, and meet like-minded people. In an effort to eliminate disposable fashion, Reclypt helps facilitate clothing swaps and is always looking for more participants, partners, and venues!
Upon entry, participants will contribute the business attire (clothing, shoes, and accessories) they brought and then “shop” through what other people have brought (to which theirs will be added). As more people show up to contribute and “shop”, the inventory changes. No payment for the clothes will be required, but it is expected that everyone interested in “shopping” will contribute their own pieces.