#1: Refresh Your Wardrobe Without Spending Money
Bored of your clothes, lost weight/gained weight or just changed your style? Instead of going to your nearest high street chain for a new look and spending your hard earned pennies on fast fashion, you can revamp your wardrobe affordably and effectively using what’s already out there instead! Fashion trends are currently being repeated year after year, so second hand shops can be the perfect place for finding items that are also currently on trend but mean that you can express your own personal style without being a clone of everyone else.
Think about it…there’s so many stylish people out there who are in the same situation, we are fickle beings and just because an item of clothing that’s amazing and in great condition isn’t working for us anymore, doesn’t mean there isn’t someone else out there to love and cherish it. Buying second hand clothing often means you get great quality, barely worn items for a really good price. And doing clothes swaps are even better as you have access to second hand clothing without the inflated price tag of vintage stores etc…you basically aren’t spending any money that hasn’t already been spent.
#2: Help Reduce Waste
Another great thing about clothes swaps is that they allow you to be conscious even if you can’t afford to buy a whole new wardrobe of ethically and sustainably made clothing. If you didn’t know this already, the fashion industry is the second biggest pollutant after oil. Making clothing in the way that we do is incredibly damaging to the environment; we use up the world’s precious resources and pump pollutants into the environment. Let’s take a pair of jeans as a example, the two main issues about jeans are 1) they are made from cotton and 2) they are often dyed using harmful chemicals. Cotton uses a huge amount of water and cotton farming contributes massively to pollution through pesticide use. Just 2.4% of the world’s cultivated land is planted with cotton, yet it accounts for 24% of the world’s insecticide market and 11% of global pesticides. Then combine that with the using synthetic dyes during the dying process and you have a product that is just pumping toxic materials back into our eco-systems.
If we purchase a pair of jeans and then decide they don’t really fit properly or we don’t actually really like them anymore, they will then either be stuffed to the back of our wardrobes never to see the light of day again or thrown in the bin and replaced with a new pair. However, just because you didn’t like the way they fit or how they looked doesn’t mean they aren’t someone else’s dream pair of jeans. You discarded them, but someone else can pick them up and keep wearing them instead of buying themselves a new pair, therefore keeping clothing in the loop and getting the most use out of each garment (and repairing or recycling them when they eventually wear out.)
#3: Great Excuse For a Wardrobe Clear Out
There are three types of clothing in our wardrobes that should be evaluated:
- Stuff we haven’t or definitely will never wear, but for some reason can’t let go of (e.g. because was expensive or a gift)
- Pieces we used to wear a lot but that haven’t seen the light of day for a while
- The handful of statement items that we love but only come out a few times a year
Be honest with yourself – will you ever wear that again? Not only are these taking up space and making your life more cluttered (trust me, doing a clear out makes the whole ‘so many clothes but nothing to wear’ so much less of a thing), lying in your wardrobe these clothes are just a dead energy. The resources used to make the clothes are being wasted and the time and energy put into making the items of clothing by the garment worker (often in less than great conditions) has been done for nothing. But never throw wearable yet unwanted clothing into the bin. A survey commissioned by Sainsbury’s in 2016 found that 235m items ended up on landfill sites as people readied their wardrobes for summer, which is absolute madness!
For anyone struggling with the wardrobe clear out process I suggest this article by the debrief on how to clear out your wardrobe without having a nervous breakdown.
#4: Give your clothing a new life and join the sustainable fashion revolution!
Remember that your clothes have value attached to them and they deserve to be loved and worn with pride. We promise you, there is someone out there who can make that ‘fun shirt’ or dress that’s just a little bit too short work perfectly for them. A lot of us don’t want to let go of clothing because we have an attachment to it, whether that’s to do with price or sentimentality, and really just don’t want to see it go to waste. However, in terms of sentimentality try and imagine it on someone who is going to appreciate it the way that you don’t. When it comes to price, selling clothes can be a laborious process which often doesn’t really work out for the better, has anyone ever sold something for £1 on ebay?! Soul destroying. Giving to charity is a great option but sometimes we want something material in return for the money we spent on the item, especially if funds are limited.
So, this is where clothes swaps come in. Keeping clothing being worn and loved and decreasing demand for more and more cheap, fast-fashion… a win, win situation for everyone involved. Plus, you’ll get to meet other people who are interested in sustainable fashion!
#5: They’re Really Fun!
Although sites like depop and other virtual clothes swaps are great, it’s always so much better seeing and trying items in the flesh so you can make sure they fit you and you feel great! Think of clothes swaps as a bit like a treasure hunt: you get the thrill of a new find without having to spend a penny! They’re also a great opportunity to meet some lovely people or just catch up with friends and what you don’t claim gets donated to charity.
Have you done any clothes swaps recently? Let us know how you got on by commenting below and tweeting us @revival_collect and tag us in pictures of your favourite finds!
If you live in Brighton, we’re hosting our second Anti Sweatshop Swap Shop on September 3rd at Alcampo Lounge.