6 Tips for Organizing Successful Swaps

Photo by Beth Molson via a CC attribution license.
Photo by Beth Molson via a CC attribution license.

Clothing swaps can be awesome opportunities to declutter your house, save money on your wardrobe, and reduce textile waste. But great swaps take more than just a group of friends and some unwanted clothes. The best swaps–the kind where everyone is really glad they came–need a little planning and forethought.

Here are our 6 tips to get the best from your swap:

  1. Provide snacks. Shopping takes energy, even when you’re swap-shopping. If you’re bringing together people who don’t know each other well, serve some wine as well.
  2. Consider your guest list carefully. If you organize swaps regularly, you’ll want to invite new people to each swap. Otherwise, you risk seeing the same tired items over and over. This is a great chance to make acquaintances into better friends. (If your swap buddies constantly buy and discard clothes, you might be able to skip this rule, but why would you? New people usually change a swap for the better).
  3. The more people, the better. But you need to be thoughtful: don’t invite someone who will be the only person of their size. Make sure all the swappers have 1 or 2 people who will be bringing stuff in their approximate size.
  4. Demographics are key. The best swaps bring together people who were similar in age, size, and personal style. This is not a great way to live your life, but it is a good way to organize a swap, because it gives all the participants a high chance of bringing home a bunch of stuff that they like.
  5. Ask people to bring accessories, beauty products, craft supplies, books and other items. Again, this increases the chances of people finding something they like.
  6. If someone says unkind things about clothes in the swap, don’t invite them back. People don’t need to love everything in the swap, but they should have the sensitivity not to criticize other people’s style. (This goes for any bad swap behaviour!)

Have you been to a great swap lately? Have any tips? Let us know in the comments.



2 thoughts on “6 Tips for Organizing Successful Swaps

  1. I have hosted and attended a few Clothing Swaps in my home community of Salt Spring Island over the years. I’d love to be included in one or sone swaps here in the Greater Vancouver area if anyone wants a new “friend” added to their list!
    One question: Years ago I know at a few clothing swaps people charged (a small amount of) money for the items they brought to swap. We never adapted to that way on the island. Is there money exchanged or expected at mainland swaps?

  2. Hi Lisa! I haven’t been to any mainland swaps that involved money, but some of the bigger ones might work that way.

Comments are closed.