One Person’s Trash is Another One’s Treasure: Clothes Swap!

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I guess this post is dedicated to the shopaholics out there.  That feeling you get when you buy a new pair of shoes or a new pair of pants is sort of addictive.  Something different to your wardrobe, something new, something to shake things up a bit.  You think about when you can wear your new clothing out.  Things are exciting for a while, and then you get the credit card bill.

Your internal voice screams: “What? I paid $150 for these pair of pants? I don't even wear them that often!”

Then you get the guilt.  When you see that item of clothing in your closet, it calls at you, telling you “Hey! Remember when you thought I was all that and a bag of chips? What happened?”  The wave of guilt courses through your veins again and you close the closet door in remorse.

Aside from the talking clothing, I'm sure that scenario rings a bell.

One way to alleviate this is to organize or attend a clothing swap.  Free clothes, you get rid of your old junky clothes you don't want, and you get that feeling of euphoria of wearing something new.  AND you save the environment by recycling and re-using clothes.  Everyone knows that green is the new black.

Win-win-win situation, if you ask me.

A clothing swap is an organized get-together of people who want to get rid of their clothes, shoes, accessories.  You can attend one or create one.  It's best if you have at least twenty people coming so there's more variety.  If you spread the word through an event created on Facebook, I'm sure tons of people will come, eager to get rid of the stuff collecting dust in their closet.  During the event, you can socialize, there can be food and drink (and maybe some booze), and you can try on and find some treasure and go home happy.

I went to a clothing swap about two years ago organized by my friend.  It was held at a yoga studio (no yogis were harmed, don't worry) and there was food and drink and it was great.  I picked up two pair of black capris, a pair of green cargo pants, and two black tops.  And for some reason, I wear these clothes so often its not even funny!  The reason I wear them isn't because they were free (though that thought crosses my mind every time I don these clothes and it puts a smile on my face), it's because they fit well.

Clothing swaps are great for your budget because they are absolutely free.  You still get that temporary euphoria when you have new clothes (new to you, anyways) but you don't have to hurt your budget for this.  Getting rid of junk is one of my financial cleanse recommendations.  I would highly recommend this especially for college students, when you have zero income but don't want to deprive yourself of shopping.

Here are some links to get you started:

Have you ever been to or created a clothing swap?  Do you find them as awesome as I do?

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Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.


  1. Carol@inthetrenches on August 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Great idea! We used to do a pass around bag. Someone would start by putting in all their unused clothing and pass it on to someone who who pick what they wanted and add more. Then on to the next person. The bag went around until we all had had a chance to go through it and then on to the thrift store.

  2. young on August 31, 2010 at 12:23 am

    @Carol- That’s a fantastic idea! It gives you a chance to do it privately too, and on your own time. Thanks for sharing. Next time a clothes swap within my friends group comes up, I”m going to suggest that.

  3. Tracy on August 31, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    The best type of place to be frugal is a hand me down resale store. It allows you to make money and get something of value for old clothes you no longer want

  4. young on August 31, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    @Tracy- Yeah, I agree. Though I tried to sell some of my old clothes today at some local consignment shops and got R-E-J-E-C-T-E-D, they want nothing less than designer labels. Am going to try the ebay route now. =)

  5. Bunny Masseuse on September 20, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I participate in a forum based nail polish swap… keeping the polish from the trash and in the hands of someone else interested in using it!

    Anything not used goes to a recycling program run by some nail polish companies out there for proper disposal.

  6. young on September 20, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    @Bunny Masseuse- Really? Wow I didn’t know they had such things! That’s a great idea because nail polish is so toxic. So do you mail it out to each other then?

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