How to organize a clothes swap event

On July 6, Trusted Clothes held a clothes swapping event at our headquarters in Kitchener, Ontario.

I was one of the volunteers who helped out with organizing and making sure everything ran smoothly. It was a fun-filled three hour event, interjected with ice-cream and pop. Which is not to say it wasn’t a lot of work. By the end of the event, my arms were so sore from all the table-carrying and furniture moving. But it’s so encouraging to see so many people attending our clothes-swap; proof positive that many people in the Waterloo region are not only cost-conscious, but also environmentally-conscious as well. As a member of a growing organization, it’s heartening to see so many supporters for our cause. Clothes swaps are not only good for the environment and the wallet, they’re also good for the closet, good for the soul and good for meeting new people and networking.

clothing swap trusted clothes

But you don’t have to be a part of any orgazination to set up a successful clothes swap event. 

To help you host your own clothes swap party, here’s a list of things to do and watch out for:

  • Choose a place. If you’re planning to invite 20+ people (and 20+ people are going to come) you may want to pick a larger venue.  Some studios may allow you to use the space for free, especially if you plan to donate whatever hasn’t been picked up to a local charity.  It may be more intimate and interactive if you choose to have it in your home.
  • Invite your friends. Invite your friends, you can set up an “event” in facebook and estimate to how many people are going to come.  You may want to pick a day of the week most people are free.
  • Include friends of all sizes and shapes—and don’t leave out your pregnant friends who could be looking for larger items. Because some pieces can be easily adapted to fit various figures by adding a belt, have one on hand the day of so that guests can see if cinching a roomy top or dress will make it work for them.
  • Note a minimum and maximum number of items each person should bring, especially if you do choose to open up the guest list. This ensures there are plenty of quality things to trade but not so much stuff that it becomes overwhelming for you or your friends. And encourage everyone to bring any unwanted clothing, regardless of the weather outside. Tank tops and T-shirts make great layering pieces year-round.
  • Set some rules. don’t bring anything you wouldn’t give to a friend. In other words, no stained, ripped or outdated clothing.
  • Organize the offerings. Have a system planned so everyone doesn’t just dump their stuff on the floor. Tell guests to pre-sort their own items either by size or category. Supply boxes, tables, hangers and clothing racks labeled Tops, Pants, Dresses, etc.
  • Make some food, and ask your guests to bring some too. Nothing like food and friends to start a clothes swap party!

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portrait of William Lee

About the Author

This is Will, current content coordinator at Trusted Clothes. Will is a writer at heart with a journalism print background. An award-winning writer and video producer, Will divides his time between super-heroing at Trusted Clothes and being a complete die-hard Star Trek fan. And wearing funny Captain Picard shirts too.

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