Last night, I attended The Clothing Exchange Spring Frock Swap @ BMW Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne.
BMW Edge is a beautiful auditorium venue, enveloped in Federation Square's notorious angular windows.
How the night panned out:
Doors open at 6:30pm. Entry is $25, which can be booked and paid for online, or you can pay at the door. Payment online is encouraged. Bring along six garments or accessories you are willing to exchange. Checklist below:
~ Garments clean and folded or pressed
~ Garments likely to be valued by others
~ Not pilled, stained or pongy
~ Free of faults or with minor faults that are easy to repair
(E.g. A missing button)
~ No longer your favourites, you must be emotionally detached!
~ We do not accept swimwear or underwear for exchange
After checking in, you take your bag of garments to a table where staff sort through your things, and give you buttons in return for each item.
Tip 1: Keep your buttons safe - they are fairly small and can be easily lost
Once you receive your buttons, take a seat and start eyeing up all the pretty frocks, clothes and accessories being put out on display.
Tip 2: Sit in the front row for better viewing of potentials as they are displayed
Tip 3: Get there a little early as the doors open at 6.30pm (some people arrive later) to suss out who is your size as they start arriving, and see if you can nose at what stuff they are handing over!
This process takes around half an hour, and on this occassion, a craft workshop took place, organised by Leeyong Soo teaching the awaiting crowd how to make fabric yo-yos and Suffolk puff accessories.
Around 7pm, organisers tell us they will commence the swap very shortly, and explain the process. You can take up to 3 garments to try at any one time so that everyone has a chance at a successful swap. (If caught with more than 3 garments, you will be asked to leave the swap for 5 minutes because hoarding is not fair to all participants!) Once you have found your garments, take them to the front table and exchange them with your buttons. Ready, set, go..
Tip 4: The changing screens are fairly exposed. If you plan to try things on, wear appropriate clothing i.e wear a vest and leggings underneath a dress or shirt so you can try on pants, dresses, tops etc over the top.
I didn't try anything on. I found it a little overwhelming to do so, and was not appropriately dressed to try clothes on quickly (as per above tip). Clothes are not arranged according to size, so for me I grabbed what I thought was my size, checked the label to confirm it, and exchanged them for my buttons.
The majority of garments and accessories were great, but I did find some clothes were not up to scratch. This is not a reflection of the organisation or quality of the event, but more the attendees that may not be adhering to the the rule 'Garments likely to be valued by others'
Not that clothes were damaged, but more the quality of garment. I have no objection to high street labels but did notice around 10-15 items of clothes that were left without a home were Valley Girl and Big W brands.
I hope this does not give a negative reflection of the event, which overall is a fantastic initiative, and I would definitely recommend it.
I did manage to get six things in exchange for the six that I provided for the swap. My favourites were a Mink Pink peacock print shirt dress:
And a pair of black cowboy boots which I will refashion slightly (I don't like the brown stitching, but love the boots):
The Clothing Exchange events are held in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. The next event is the National Swap Day on 25th October, and is held on the same day in all cities. Check out the events page for more details.