Clothing Swaps – A Fun Sustainable Alternative To A New Wardrobe.

From a young age, something is enthralling about wearing what someone else has. Your mother’s lipstick, your older sibling’s sweatshirt, your girlfriend’s dress, your cousin’s cardigan — the list of what we would covet from others and want to borrow goes on and on. It is in our nature, as humans, to share within our communities. Fashion allows a unique opportunity to express individuality through style and to connect through our statements. Even on a budget, the possibilities are endless for how to revamp your wardrobe and cultivate relationships. One way to this is through a clothing swap.


Swaps are a chance to clean out your closet and trade items with your friends and family. The pair of jeans you have always loved to snag when raiding your BFFs drawers? Maybe she’ll finally give them up in exchange for her favorite boots. Your brother’s leather jacket he never wears but would look like the perfect on-trend oversized coat as the season change? You might be able to add that to your fall staples as a trade for one of your tees. Clothing swaps are an opportunity for all of us to come together, save money, and switch up our looks. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to make your swap a success.

  1. Invite a diverse group of friends and family of different genders and ages and have other style preferences and body types.

    This is the perfect chance for you to see old friends and catch up as well as really diversify your closet. Bringing in as many of your loved ones as possible can make this event a success — for fashion and for forging connections.

  2. Decide on a place to have your swap.

    If you want to host the swap, then plan a date and time that works for you. Maybe set up some tables and clear space in the back or front yard for people to lay out their items when they arrive. If you prefer to have it somewhere else, see if a friend wants to host or find a common space outdoors that works for everyone and follows COVID-19 safe distancing guidelines. Remember that you will want to have an experience that is shopping-like so that people can walk around and look at what is available.

  3. Set a minimum and a maximum number of items for each person to bring.

    It can be overwhelming to know how to best participate in a swap, so help your attendees out by determining a good range of items for each person to bring. This way, everyone feels like they can contribute similarly. 

  4. Remind your friends to bring gently used items that are clean and cleaned out.

    There is a difference between a piece of clothing that should be donated elsewhere and traded at the swap. Remind your friends and family to only include gently worn items that are not damaged, stained, or otherwise defective. Also, remind them to check out any pockets their garments might have to prevent someone from accidentally losing a personal item. This will help your swap run smoothly and prevent any issues after it.

  5. Clean out your closet based on two factors: season and score.

    Now it is time for you to go through your clothes! When trying to go through what to trade and what to keep, think about the coming season and what you think you no longer need or want. Since we are transitioning to colder temperatures, maybe take a look at your sweater collection and determine which ones you no longer see yourself wearing. Then, go through your items and score how often you think you wore them last year. If there are pieces that you did not touch the previous season and you still don’t really like, throw them into the giveaway pile. This is a good way to be realistic about what you want to keep in your closet for the coming months and what you will actually wear.

Clothing swaps are a triple threat. They are an easy way to sustainably revitalize your wardrobe while connecting with friends and saving money. Change up how you shop without sacrificing style or community. For added convenience, there are also great app choices that can help you facilitate swaps online. 

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