Tips for Hosting a Clothes Swap Party

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Many of us have heard of the 80/20 rule when it comes to our wardrobe. "You wear 20 percent of your clothes 80 percent of the time." *Oprah

Which leaves us with an almighty large quantity of unworn wardrobe pieces.
(perhaps not this much....)

pile of clothes
Christian Boltanski's No Man's Land, composed of 27 tonnes of discarded clothing. Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images c/o The Guardian

What should we do with our unworn pieces? A solution might be to host a clothes swapping party, giving your unworn clothes a chance to be worn again.

Tracy, an op shop enthusiast and blogger fromthekiwigirl is about to host her second clothes swap party, her previous event blogged here. Tracy organised a small scale operation, which raised money for the Red Cross as part of their Big Cake Bake campaign.

I asked Tracy for her tips on hosting a similar clothes swap event, which I note below along with my own ideas and experiences.

* Find an appropriate venue.

Tracy hosted her party at her friends house. Other ideas might be to contact a local school, kindergarten, or childcare facility. Ask if they'd prepared to let you use one of their rooms in exchange for a perhaps small donation from each attendee, which would go toward fundraiser the facility. This would probably be easier to organise if you have a child, niece or nephew that attends any of the above. Alternatively, a local community hall, or centre might help?

* Organise

So you've found a venue, when would be best to host your party? Week day evenings might be best, as weekends are usually too busy for some, 7/7.30pm suit most. Tracy's idea of baking cakes is great, you could suggest to swapee's to bring a plate, a cake, or a bottle of wine? Emphasis on the party of the clothes swap party! Do you have or can you borrow a portable clothing rack or two? Browsing garments on a clothing rack is certainly much easier than sifting through a pile on the floor.

Image c/o weheartit

* Invite

You have a venue, and a date. Start emailing, calling, and sms your friends and family, tell them to invite their friends too, and create an event on facebook. If you feel confident, and are running the event as a fundraiser, you could print up a small flyer and pin it on supermarket, library, and local community noticeboards.

* On the night

Depending on your intended party size, on a clothes swapping party I once attended at a school, we were given tickets in exchange for the amount of clothing pieces we'd given to swap. We'd use our tickets as currency to pick out garments we'd like to take home. A similar set up is arranged with The Clothing Exchange 's large scale clothes swap events, instead of tickets, buttons are given as swapping currency (to a maximum of six garments)

image c/o weheartit

*Left over clothing

There will always be leftover pieces, what should be done with them? The easiest option would be to drop off at your local thrift / charity store. Alternatively, the leftover garments could be sold on eBay or at a flea market as fundraising for a charity or centre that was used to hold the event.

Have you hosted a clothes swap party before? Would you like to?
Have you been to a clothes swapping event? If so, how was it?



Steph and Carlos said...

I would love to host a swap some day! I went to one which was held during nation recycle week in Martine Place and it was massive. You could take in anything from books, music, clothes, bike, prams etc so long as they workedtans up to 5 things. I got my first hair straighter there...hehe.

Tyler said...

There is new website specific to selling fashion that is a bit friendlier than eBay. Easier to use and less costs to the seller by a lot.

Could be a good place for remaining items that don't get traded but are in good condition. They have a charity option as well that takes some of your selling fees towards a good cause.

Anonymous said...

woah! huge pile of clothes.

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