Published on February 5, 2014
Ready, set ... SWAP! How to host a clothing swap in your home, office or school What’s a clothing swap? A clothing swap is all about sharing: sharing a nice evening together, sharing the collective experience of doing something good for the community and the environment – and not to mention, sharing one’s closet. S, M, or L? First you need to decide on how big of a clothing swap party you want to throw. More people means more preparation for you, but also a bigger selection for everyone to choose from in the end. If you want to invite more than 10 people, you may want to recruit one of your friends as a volunteer to help you out. Invite your friends When you send out your invitations, let your friends know what a clothing swap is and how to participate. We’ve got 6 swap-savvy tips below to send to your friends. You might want to let your friends drop off the clothes a week in advance and have them cleaned. One pile isn’t enough You need space! Dining room tables, coffee tables, sofas and chairs all make great places to set up the goods. You can fold clothing in neat stacks by type and/or size and hang the fancier ones on hangers from the back of chairs. Just don’t forget to leave room for some mirrors – and refreshments and snacks! Strike a pose Be sure to take pictures! A swap can lead to unforgettable moments – like when one of your closest friends tries on a dress that you wore for her wedding, for example. Or try some before and after photos? Got a friend who loves to give fashion advice? Have her style some of your guests and let the camera be the judge! Nothing gets wasted Set up a box for donations to charity. Anything deemed “unswappable” or left over at the end should be placed in the box for collection. Ready, set, swap! Buy a roll of paper coupons at any office supply or dollar store. For each guest, give them one coupon for every item they bring deemed “swappable” (see our tips below). Your guests can use their coupons to go shopping – 1 ticket = 1 item. Have an empty shoebox for them to place their used coupons in. Stats are good At the end of the night, count the number of coupons used and the number of items placed in the box of charity donations. Announce to your guests the grand total for each. It’ll give you an idea of how much money you saved and how much clothing you collected for charity – everyone will leave feeling great and you’ll have a record to try to beat for next time! NEXT PAGE: 6 swap-savvy tips for a memorable event
6 Swap-Savvy Tips for a Memorable Clothing Swap 1. Be honest with yourself 6. Have fun! When was the last time you took that dress out of the closet or wore that blazer? Look at the bright side: everything that you decide to bring to the swap makes space for new-to-you pieces! Remember, it’s not about the clothes, it’s about sharing! Enjoy a fun evening with friends, have some laughs and and a drink or two and you’ll end up going home after midnight – maybe with a nice, new-to-you dress in your hands to boot! 2. Choose nice things to bring If you’re looking at something that you wouldn’t like to find at a swap then don’t bring it to the swap. If it’s too worn, you can always put it in the box for charity donations at your friend’s home. 3. Launder and/or dry clean your selections Wash and/or dry clean your clothes before the event. Eco-friendly dry cleaning is preferable. If your friend has decided to collect the clothes in advance and get them all cleaned herself, you are a very lucky person! 4. 1 of your items = 1 exchange coupon = 1 swapped item 5. Think quality and usefulness over quantity Don’t expect to find something for every item you bring to the swap. A clothing swap can be full of surprises, so you never know – maybe you’ll spot so many nice clothes that you need to bargain with your friends for their exchange coupons! Or you might just enjoy seeing your friends thrilled to go home with your unwanted pieces and come home to more precious space in your closet. In either case: always keep in mind that the items left over after the swap will be donated to charity. You can feel good about that. Tag your photos & stories with #PeersSwap SWAP on! Peers is a member-driven organization that supports the sharing economy movement. For more info, visit peers.org The SWAP Team is a nonprofit organization that hosts large-scale clothing swaps to benefit communities and charities. Check out theswapteam.org
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