5 Best Things about Swapping

It is time again to do some swapping.  EVERYONE is cleaning out (thanks Marie Kondo), we have bags of goodies that no longer bring us joy, but might have A LOT of life in them still.

What to do?!  Absolutely drop them off at whatever local nonprofit they could support…OR…bring them to one of our clothing swaps!

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How To Swap

Bring 8-10 pieces of clothing OR shoes that are in GREAT condition and things you think someone would like.  Please bring hangers if you have them (but hangers that you don’t mind losing).

When you arrive volunteers will be there to help you hang your things on the rack that coordinates with the size of the clothing.  There will be tables for some items like pants and skirts that are difficult to hang.

START SWAPPING.  You can hunt around, try things on and take 8-10 pieces with you (free of course).

We charge a small admittance fee to help cover our cost, you can find links to tickets HERE.  It is AMAZING when you buy tickets before so that we have an idea of who can make it, but tickets are also available at the door.

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WHY We Love to Swap

1. FREE CLOTHES – If one man’s junk is another man’s treasure – clothing swaps are the ultimate treasure hunt.  It is so much fun to dig through and find things for FREE.

2. New Styles – EVERY time we do a swap we notice that a lot of people find pieces in colors or styles that they wouldn’t otherwise wear!  It is so fun to push your style a little bit with pieces that are free.

3. New Friends – it is so fun to find people who are your same size, style and shape to swap clothing with.  It is amazing how bonding these events are.  Strangers start to style each other and comment on great pieces or finds that others are picking up.  Over a snack or waiting in line for the dressing room, fun and really sweet conversations happen.  It’s our favorite.

4. Reused Clothing – When we are done with clothing that we have worn for a while, or have things that don’t fit us anymore, most of us just take it and donate it somewhere, it is quick and easy.  But tons and tons of that clothing can end up in landfills, or shipped over seas.  A swap is a great way to make sure the things you are done with go to a good home!

5. The Challenge – Maybe your coming to the swap just for the free clothes and if so, awesome.  Maybe you are coming to be with friends or to get rid of your clothes.  Whatever might bring you into the door, you will LOVE how much you learn, are pushed and are encouraged while you are there.  It is such an exciting experience to be in a group of women who could be competing for the same great top, but instead are helping each other hunt, putting together outfits, complimenting each other, acting shocked that someone would give up such great things.  You will learn about fashion, talk about sustainable wardrobes, tips on styling and so much more.

Jump into one of our swap events to experience all of the happy, positive and fun vibes that go along with being in a room of women who are just as excited as you to be recycling, reusing and having fun!

Can’t wait to see you there,

Christina

 

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Buying Sustainable is a Process..Just Start (Part Two)

It’s been a week and I’m back with part two of my buying sustainable process guide.

During our week apart I indulged myself a little with my favorite type of sustainable buying, recycled! While visiting home, my sister and I disappeared into the wonderful world of consignment fashion, at our local spot. After multiple arm loads to the dressing room, a few laughs, one moment of almost getting stuck in a pair of corduroy pants, I exited with some amazing finds.

A German made sweater, of 100% wool, the softest black and white sweater made of “baby alpaca” and a brand new, tags still on, hat that is made by a USA based sustainable company. I hit the jackpot in the world of sustainable shopping. What makes it all so exciting, is this can happen 9 times out of 10, if you’re willing to dig for it.

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So without further ado, part two!

Recycle: When I say recycle I do not mean buying shoes that are made of recycled rubber or purses made of recycled plastic, although these are wonderful recycled options. When I say recycle I am talking about, of course, consignment stores or other secondhand clothing options.

Some may cringe at this thought. Wearing something preloved can be a hurdle but I’m here to preach, again, that it is not only good for your wallet and the planet but it can do incredible things for your style.

The pieces I get the most compliments on have come from consignment stores or thrift shops. For every item bought recycled one less item enters the consumption loop, which in turns decreases the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. For every American, 68 pounds of textiles end up in landfills each year according to research found in Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline. The number is only increasing, recycled can help.

Consignment shopping can be overwhelming, I will admit that. Racks are not usually sorted by size but more often color and when you find something you like but not in your size you don’t have the privilege of asking the sales associate to locate what you need. This, I believe, is the beauty of consignment shops. When you find a piece that fits just right and is unique to you the excitement is like nothing felt in the dressing-room of a cookie cutter shop where ten others may be trying on the same piece.

My recommendation to tackling consignment shops? Grab a friend, or a sister, make a day of it and go experiment with a style that is uniquely your own!

Repair: How often does the rubber on the bottom of your heal fall off? The zipper on a favorite pair of jeans bust open because of one too many cookies? In our world of disposable fashion when this occurs we throw the garment away because “heck, I only spent $50 on these shoes so I might as well just go get a new pair”. Clothing has never been as disposable as it is today and that needs to change.

I have come to love repairing shoes, clothes and everything in between. There is something special about the way I feel in my favorite pair of jeans. If the zipper blows out during the holiday season, yes this has definitely happened (a couple times), I don’t want to replace them, I want to repair them.

It is easy to question why repairing something that was so cheap to begin with has any sound logic. So why not invest in higher quality items and ask yourself, before making the purchase, can I repair this item if it wears out? If the answer is no, maybe it’s not of high quality or maybe it won’t be true to your individual style for long enough to wear out, therefore maybe it’s not the right purchase.

Throughout my adolescent years, okay and even sometimes still today, Carrie Bradshaw was living my New York dream. Although we would disagree on her constant over consumption there is one thing she got right, shoe repair. In season three episode fifteen Carrie learns that her trusted cobbler has been replaced with a comic book store. She is devastated because for Carrie throwing away a $500 pair of Manolo’s is not only ludicrous but financially irresponsible. By no means am I advocating to spend unnecessary amounts of money on designer goods, I sure never have, but $150 for a quality shoe is not unreasonable and if repaired regularly will last for decades.

Repurpose: This one just barely made the list. It has only come into my life in the last few months. What I love about repurpose is it was forced upon me. As soon as I stopped shopping at cheap fashion stores and started reevaluating my closet I realized I needed to repurpose items I already owned. Without this change in attitude I would have become frustrated with my wardrobe and probably given in to supporting an industry I adamantly write against.

Repurposing is no easy task. I am fortunate enough to have a very stylish boyfriend, if I do say so myself, and I have been able to incorporate some of his pieces into my rotation, such as a classic destroyed denim jacket (it also works in my favor that the 90’s are back so too then are over-sized pieces). I understand sharing a wardrobe is not a luxury for most women but there are many other options.

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Repurposing your wardrobe takes time and creativity which is the best part. I have rediscovered my style without spending a dime. I’ve taken sweaters that are too low cut in the front and worn them backwards, creating a completely unique and new look.

 

The age old saying “out of sight, out of mind” can be applied to wardrobes. There is something really wonderful about the change in season and pulling out all those long lost garments that have been stored away for months. If you don’t yet do this, give it a try. Pack away your summer clothes, “out of sight, out of mind” and when the ground begins to thaw pulling them out will feel like having an entirely new closet.

It was not long ago that I shopped at fast fashion stores. It was not long ago that I didn’t even consider checking labels before making a purchase and it wasn’t long ago that I stood before an overflowing closet whining “I have nothing to wear” (although that last one still happens from time to time). This process continues to evolve for me.

Over the past few months I have learned a lot about our world and about myself. It is exciting to feel grounded in who I am and in my style more than ever before. This has occurred because I forced myself to reevaluate my shopping habits and my wardrobe. I now work every day to refine my style. To challenge myself. It’s been a wonderfully empowering and creative process that I hope encourages you to give it a try.

 

Chat next week. With Love.

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