Everything you need to know about hosting a clothing swap.
Who doesn’t love free clothes??? I LOVE free clothes. But, do you want to know what is even better then free clothing??? Helping all of your friends score free clothes too. It makes for the perfect girls night! Time with friends plus free clothing equals everyone is happy! Want to know what the heck I am talking about??? I’m talking hosting a clothing swap!
What Is A Clothing Swap?
A clothing swap is a party where everyone can bring their gently used clothing/accessories to exchange for other gently used clothing/accessories. Each clothing swap will differ from each other in terms of rules and expectations, but the simple motive stays the same: to help others get rid of clothing no longer loved and find new clothing to love again….without having to spend any money!
Why Host A Clothing Swap?
There are many reasons to host a clothing swap! I’ve already mentioned the chance to get new to you clothing for free! But, here are a few other great reasons:
- A clothing swap is an environmentally friendly to recycle clothes and reduce waste.
- It’s a fun way to spend a night out with friends and make new friends!
- Attending a clothing swap will motivate you to clean out your closet and get rid of items you rarely wear.
- It encourages you to try new clothing that you normally wouldn’t wear.
How To Host A Clothing Swap?
A clothing swap is fairly simple to host, and the best part of hosting is that you get to make up the rules! Here are a few things to consider when planning your event:
1. Choose A Location
The first step to planning a clothing swap is to choose a location. The location will depend based on the number of people attending. Most of the clothing swaps I have attended have been small and held in a friends living room.
If you have a bigger crowd attending you might be able to find free rental space at a local library or church.
2. Set The Rules
You should spend some time deciding what the rules for your swap will be. This is an important step to ensure that everyone knows what to expect from the party and you can all be on the same page. A few rules I recommend are:
- Clothes should be in good condition. No stains, holes, broken zippers, etc.
- Clothing should be freshly washed.
- Encourage guests to bring 10-15 high quality clothing items. Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to hosting a clothing swap. If to many clothing items are brought, the swap can become overwhelming to sort through.
- Set a theme. Make sure to set a theme for the types of clothing to be swapped. Some swaps focus on trading children’s clothing, others might be just for women’s clothing. Decide what type of clothing you want at the swap and let your guests know ahead of time.
3. Invite Guests
Now that you have your rules set, you can start inviting the guests. If you are wanting a small clothing swap, limit your guest list to your closest friends and family. If you want a bigger swap, try branching out and inviting acquaintances along with your friends.
4. Set Up
It’s important for the clothing to be dropped off before the actual event is set to begin. You might want to ask for clothing to be dropped off the night before the official swap, to give you plenty of time to set up. But, asking for donations 1 hour before the swap can also work! It will depend on how many people and items you are expecting.
When setting up the swap, make sure to organize clothing items by size and category to make it easier for your guests to sort through.
It’s also a good idea to have a place for guests to try on items during the swap. If you are hosting at your home, a guest bathroom works great.
5. Swap Time
When it’s time to swap you can organize it a few different ways:
- Free for all: Let everyone shop and grab items to their delight. This works best for small groups or close friends. If the group is to big it could cause problems with some people grabbing the “favorite” items first and others leaving without anything. The goal is for all attendees to leave happy!
- Lottery: Another way to arrange the swap is to use a lottery. Write all guests names down on separate pieces of paper and put them into a bowl. Draw names out one at a time and assign each name a number in the order they were drawn. Next, let the first 1-5 names drawn shop for the first 15-20 minutes. Then the next 5 names can shop for the next 15-20 minutes, and so on. This gives all guests a fair chance at the clothing.
- Swap For Swap: Another way to ensure fair swapping is to give each guest a ticket for every item of clothing they bring. If one person brings 7 clothing items, they will receive 7 tickets. For each ticket they are given they will be able receive that many items of clothing to bring home.
Now, all that’s left to do is enjoy the clothing swap and watch everyone leave with a pile of new to them clothing!
6. Donate Unwanted
After the party is over, make sure to donate whatever clothing items are leftover. Choose a charity, such as Goodwill or Salvation Army to donate the leftover items to.
A clothing swap is such a fun way to hang out with friends and get some new articles of clothing. They are totally addicting though! Once you start going to these activities, it’s hard to stop!