How to host a clothes swap party.

Did you know Australians buy an average of 27 kilograms of new textiles each year and then discard about 23 kilograms* into landfill. Two-thirds of those discards are manmade synthetic/plastic fibres that may never breakdown. Sadly only 10-15% of donated items end up in op-shops for reuse/resale because the clothing items are in bad condition from being left out in the rain, are filthy dirty or ripped/ruined.

We know that over 95% of textiles in landfill are reusable so there’s really no need for any of it to be there.

Our throwaway culture is creating a serious environmental problem, with 24% of people saying they threw out a garment after one wear. One in six people binned at least three garments they’d worn only once, ONCE!

Is it because people are so caught up in social media land that they feel the need to post a photo with a new outfit on every time they go out? Or they just can’t be seen in an outfit more than once?!

I’l admit I’ve been there, and I look back at all the clothes I’ve bought and money I’ve wasted over the years on new clothing and it actually makes me feel sick!

My wardrobe now is very minimal and I like items I can wear over and over styled in different ways.

Of course it’s nice to buy new clothing items, but there’s no need to buy new items on a weekly basis. We are living in a culture now that is so demanding for new fashion trends, and because the demand is there, fashion chains are just going to keep supplying us with new looks faster than we can even keep up.

We need to be more aware of our spending habits on clothes, and start reusing items we already have in our wardrobe already.

One of the best things you can do to help our environment is to host a clothes swap party! A party where you get the girls together with a bunch of your unwanted clothing and swap them around with each other.

My best friend and I put on a clothes swap this afternoon and it was a great success and it wasn’t any trouble at all to host it.

All you need to do is pick a date and a location to host it. We had our party at my besties house and used some rope and wood to make clothes rails and hung them from the beams on the pergola, but if you can get your hands on some clothes racks, even better!

We had about 12 ladies come along and everyone brought at least 5 items of clothing to swap. Once guests arrive, hang up all the clothes on the racks. We sorted the clothes into sections of tops, dresses, pants/bottoms and then a table for handbags and accessories.

The rules we had in place were;

*Each guest must bring a minimum of 5 items and a maximum of 15 items to swap. Items can be clothes, bags, hats, jewellery. The items must be in good condition, clean, ironed and on a clothes hanger.

*However many items you bring to swap, that is the amount of items you are aloud to take home. You can write up a chart to ‘register’ all the clothing items to keep track of who brought what and who’s taking what, but we felt like all our guests would be honest and fair so didn’t bother documenting it.

*Any items left at the end of the swap can either be taken back home with the guest or the host will donate to a local charity/opshop (and not just dumped out in the rain)

The more guests that come along the better style and size range there will be. So get those invites out early and let guests know to save there wardrobe clean out for the clothes swap.

It’s a great way to clear out your wardrobe of items you don’t wear anymore and pick yourself up some new items without spending money or throwing out good clothing that will most likely end up in landfill.

You can tweak the rules as you wish, but you get the gist of it.

Our event was so successful that we are already planning one for 6 months time! Plus it’s a good excuse to get the girls together, have some nibbles and a cheeky wine and have a shop, all while saving money and saving the environment.

X Jes

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