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I still have a few favourite clothing items that I wear regularly that I acquired from a clothes swap. I put them on and remember that I paid $0 for them!

For you longtime readers, you know that I am a huge fan of clothes swaps.  In 2011 I was still a fan of the clothes swap because I shared a post on how to organize a clothes swap.  I must admit, I don’t know if I have had any clothes swaps since that post, but I am still a fan of them.  In fact, some of my friends say that we are due for another one and they have a lot of clothes they are itching to share.

I still have a few favourite clothing items that I wear regularly that I acquired from a clothes swap.  When I put them on and remember that I paid $0 for them, I smile.  Simple pleasures in life, right?

Why are clothes swaps so great?  Well, someone else’s junk is your new treasure!

Here are some reasons why you should consider organizing (or at least attending) a clothes swap:


If you’re trying to make money off of your old clothes, it’s even more difficult than before.  I used to sell my clothes to a consignment clothing store back in the day.  The extra money was great and I really enjoyed the consignment process.  However, the consignment clothing business has certainly caught on, and it’s now not the same as before.  All of the consignment stores where I could sell my relatively inexpensive clothing (e.g. clothes from H&M or Jacob) started not accepting these and only wanting expensive designer labels.  It is understandable because many consignment stores have to compete and survive on high rents and cheap items of clothing.  In addition, because I don’t go regularly anymore, I never know when my items have been purchased and when I can be paid out.  So essentially I end up donating these clothing items anyways.  I have a friend who is currently desperate to sell her clothes as she did a massive spring/summer clean up but no one is accepting her clothes until the fall, and even then, she will have to make an appointment and face the rejection of them not wanting a large portion of her clothes.

No Risk

There is no risk at all.  You are not spending your money or anything but instead you get to have a great time with your friends while trying on their clothes.  When you continue to wear that item of clothing that you know you got for free and at a clothes swap, you will be that much happier when you pick it up and remember that it cost you nothing.

Its Fun!

It’s a great way to socialize and bond with your girlfriends.  I must admit, I’m not a big mall shopper.  In fact, my girlfriends and I rarely shop at clothing stores together.  I think it’s because they usually shop at Value Village and I don’t.  However, when I do go clothes shopping its usually by myself.  There’s something to be said for trying on some clothing and having your girlfriends give you honest (or biased) feedback… it’s definitely a great bonding time and a great way to socialize with your friends.  You also may get to meet friends of friends, meaning you’ll get to meet new friends!

Go Green!

It is sustainable.  Greenopedia stated that clothes swaps are not only a financial benefit, but they are an environmental benefit because they are sustainable.  In fact, if you donate the leftovers (which most clothes swaps do) it becomes even more environmentally and socially great as an option to get rid of your clothes and get new ones.
Clothes swaps are a great option and organizing a clothes swap may sound like a lot of effort, bu t really it doesn’t involve very much except for some organizing and a place to host the party.  If you need a few more benefits to convince you that buying or obtaining second hand clothing is definitely the way to go now, head to the Yahoo article about the benefits of buying and swapping second hand clothes.

Besides, upcyling and recycling are super cool now.  Mother earth will thank you.

Readers, have you ever tried attending or hosting a clothes swap?

Article comments

dojo says:

They’re not common in my country, so I never attended one. I personally like to donate the clothes I don’t use anymore, since there are many people would could surely wear them for quite a while. I then just replace them with new ones. I don’t have many clothes anyway (and don’t like to have a huge wardrobe), so it’s not having a big financial impact on our money either.

vickie gray says:

Do an accessories swap. That way you don’t have to worry about sizes, or perspiration stains, or less than spotless garments. I do belts, scarves, purses, jewelry, etc. Kids items, cocktail items and travel stuff are really popular. You can also make it a fundraiser for a favorite charity — eg. everyone donates $10 for the charity of your choice. Finally, I arrange in advance for Purple Heart or other organization pick up shortly after the event, so people don’t have to lug back the things that didn’t swap.

Cassie says:

I’ve hosted a big clothing swap before, and all things considered it was a huge success. We all cleared out our closets, which was more or less the point of the exercise, and all of the excess was donated to charity. Unfortunately most of my friends are all different sizes, so we can’t do a lot in terms of actually swapping clothes. Some girls change sizes a lot, so there are different sizes available, but not usually in my size. Still, even if you don’t end up walking away with any new clothing, it’s a great (cheap!) social activity.

I have been to a couple of clothing swaps hosted by a good friend of mine and in my experience, they have both been fun. Accessories were also part of the swap too- bags, belts and hats. I would definitely host one myself, but I’m not sure if my other friends would be into that type of thing.