Here at the Zen Zone we call them Sustainable Style Socials, but the experience where people gather to swap clothes with each other vs spending money on new clothes is a trend that is taking on many names as it gains in popularity.
Why are Clothing swaps so popular? These days people are looking to save money, upgrade their wardrobe, and meet new people. The negative impacts of the fashion industry are also drawing crowds away from the traditional routes of shopping making swaps more appealing. Recently the experiential group Fika hosted a Style Swap at All Day coffee shop in Miami. It was a huge success grabbing the attention of several well known bloggers and media outlets.
Over 45 people gathered on the private second level of the cafe to "shop", mingle over coffee, and snacks. Everyone left with loads of new finds, and plenty of clothes were left over, all of which were donated to the local Miami charity The Lotus House.
The founders of Fika Jessica and Christine, got support from several partners including the Global Fashion Exchange to organize their swap. If you're thinking about hosting your own clothing swap here are some tips from Fika on how to do it!
Ask attendees to bring up to (6) pieces of clothing items to swap out. These items can either be unused or lightly worn pieces from their closet.
As people check in, inspect the items and then place them on racks where everyone can browse through the selections prior to the swap.
Put out light bites, wine and coffee brew to make sure guests don't get "hangry" while swapping and encourage mingling.
Incorporate other experiences into the the swap. For example we offered a patch station where ladies were able to upgrade their old denim to give it some funk.
Once everyone has checked make announcements about when the swap will begin!
Give everyone a ticket with the number of items they can swap depending on how many they brought in.
Donate left over items to a charity or community organization. You can also use the event as a way to collect needed items for the charities like we did for the Fika Style Swap.
Reach out to brands that align with your values and purpose about sponsoring the swap with in-kind donations of their products.
Have a great photographer on site to document the experience!
Jessica and Christine were inspired to host their own swap after experiencing a previous swap event. Jessica found the idea to be extremely intriguing and loves the concept of swapping and giving clothes a new life. Hopefully their tips will inspire you to plan a swap of your own! If you're looking for a venue, you know the Zen Zone is always here for you!