You’ve probably all heard about clothing swaps, and maybe even experienced one first-hand, but do you know about the S.W.A.P Team?
The S.W.A.P. Team is behind North America’s largest clothing swaps. So far the organization has exchanged over 12,000 items! I had the pleasure of volunteering with the Calgary (Alberta, Canada!) chapter this spring, experiencing the beautiful chaos that is a clothing swap. And it’s definitely something everyone needs to know about.
For the “Take Off Your Clothes” events, a S.W.A.P. Team staple, volunteers collect clean, undamaged items ahead of time (people can also bring them to the event, though they have to wait for them to be sorted.), at which point they are sorted to make sure they are swappable. If your stuff meets the criteria, you (the swapper) are given one ticket for every item you bring in. Then, on the day of the event, you take those tickets and go shopping… er… swapping, choosing from the thousands of items in the “boutique.”
Yup, you get tons of “new” stuff and you don’t have to spend a dime! That’s the beauty of the swap.
Not tempting enough? If getting a bunch of “new” free stuff doesn’t do it for you, perhaps some designer duds will. In addition to the stuff you bring in, S.W.A.P. chapters often get items donated from designers, meaning you can end up with gorgeous, high-end duds that are 100% one-of-a-kind!
It’s absolutely brilliant. But if you’re still not convinced that swapping is right for you, well, listen up, missy. There are three huge benefits to swappin’:
1. It’s free stuff: How can you not love that?!
2. It reduces consumption: We all love ourselves some new clothes, but do you ever think about how much that wastes? Forget just the materials – think about the energy to make it, the gas to ship it, and everything else involved in bringing that new shirt to you. Swapping allows you to update your wardrobe without all that mess.
3. It helps the planet and the people who live on it: With leftover and un-swapped items going to organizations like the Salvation Army, swapping helps people in need and keeps much-needed clothes from filling our land-fills.
See? Swapping is the answer to all of our problems and The S.W.A.P. Team is taking it to a whole new level. Interested in joining a “Take Off Your Clothes” event? Check out their website to find one near you. Or, better yet, to bring one to your town!