Stop Shopping and Start Swapping – The Closet Swap

Over too many glasses of wine, a friend and I were recently lamenting about how bored we are with some of our clothing. And, as January has it, neither of us can really afford (or should advocate) going out and splurging on loads of pretty new things. Our answer? Clothes swap.

So next week, a small handful of my best ladies and I are going to sit in my lounge and do what I’m endearingly calling “Swapsies”. One woman’s lifeless, bored garment is another woman’s newly cherished treasure! Add canapes and champagne (more likely oatcakes and prosecco) and voila – giving new lease to old clothes!

The last clothing swap I went to was The Big Swish, the UK’s first clothes swapping roadshow. It’s basically a clothing swap on a highly organised and commercial level – these people are professional “swishers”.  I was WAY out of my league – fierce fashion bargain-loving ladies were lined up like Olympic runners in the 100-m dash. Intense! I managed to score a super lush olive-green crushed velvet dress, so I made out ok in the end.

“Swishing” seems to be somewhat of a growing trend, thanks to our recession-crunched pocketbooks. Swishing parties are popping up on nearly every continent, and there’s dozens of websites where you can swap clothes for free with a much wider network. Check out Posh Swaps, Big Wardrobe, Covert CandySwishingSwapStyle to get an idea of how it all works.

My personal favourite is the newly launched Closet Swap, which takes “swishing” to a whole new level! Launched as a project of Channel 4, Closet Swap allows you to swap, borrow or lend your clothes – turning your wardrobe into an endless array of cute outfit possibilities. It’s a bit like that computerised, revolving closet you’ve always dreamed of.  To make it even easier and more social network friendly (of course), all you have to do is sign in with your Facebook ID to create your own virtual closet. Easily shared with your friends across your own network and you begin to build endless fashion options.

Closet Swap website

Closet Swap website -

As if it wasn’t already savvy enough, they also launched a Closet Swap iphone app, which let’s you swap on-the-go and also includes the “Fashion Finder” – a pinpointed google map of nearby markets, vintage shops and sustainable fashion boutiques based on your GPS’d location. 

Stop shopping and start swapping? Well, at least we’ll add it to our ethical fashion mission.


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