We all feel good because we donate our unwanted clothing. But what actually happens to it? How much of it actually goes into the trash? At Fashion First Aid, we believe in buying quality items of clothing and shoes and helping them last for as long as possible.
We sponsor at least one clothing swap each week to reduce the number of items that end up in landfills and help keep you looking your best for free-fifty-free! We also support No Ugly Clothes, because if your clothes don't help you look better, why change out of your PJs in the morning??? Watch for our Facebook Live streams featuring our No Ugly Clothes Challenge.
Send an invitation by text, email or Facebook at least two weeks in advance: you can copy/paste this text:
Want new clothes and accessories for free? Then join me for a clothing swap on [date & time] at [location]. Here's how:
1. Drop off any of your unwanted clothes and accessories (preferably clean and on a hanger) at [location] at least one day before the swap. Items that are waaaaaay past their prime should probably be omitted.
2. Arrive on time with a snack/drink to share and a bag to take home your finds.
3. Receive a free Fashion First Aid kit to help your clothes last longer.
4. I will donate all leftover items to [specific charity].
See https://fashionfirstaid.com/pages/clothing-swaps for FAQs.
Seasons: I like to do both summer and winter at the START of the season. Some items, like workout clothes and layering pieces are seasonless.
Size doesn't matter: ...but accessories should be encouraged to quell fears that there won't be anything in someone's size. However, lots of clothes seem to fit a lot of people, especially people who are at different stages of weight loss or gain.
Brand doesn't matter: "Nice" items come in all brands. Encourage participants to bring items that are clean and unwrinkled. Totally demo'ed items should be left out.
The more the merrier- or not: You should make this decision as the host. If you want help recruiting more women in your area, let us know so we can try to help.
Make it pretty and organized: Encourage guests to bring items on hangers and drop off items ahead of time so you have time to "merchandise" them. People are less likely to notice "treasures" crumpled at the bottom of a clothing pile.
F & B: Encourage people to bring a (healthy) snack if they want. I like to provide a big pot of soup and a salad. If you offer alcoholic drinks, make sure to have non-alcoholic versions, too. Offer sparkling water with fruit garnish in the same cup as the boozy version.
Women only: Banish the men. Make sure guests have access to full-length mirrors. Remind guests to wear undergarments. Warn in advance if the trying-on areas are not private.
Rules: I have no rules, since there is always a lot left over at my exchanges. If you are worried about someone taking all the good stuff, you can have a three-item limit until everyone has shopped. If multiple women want the same item, I like to have a walk-off: let all the guests decide who wears it best.
Finders' keepers: Bring your own bag for your personal stuff and your finds so no one accidentally takes them. It happens. And it stinks in the winter when someone has no coat to leave in.
Last call: I like to go through after everyone is done "shopping" and look for things that might look really good on a guest. Maybe these are fashion risks or items that "look better on." Regardless, a little nudge is sometimes appreciated.
Donate what's left: Make sure to select a charity ahead of time for what's left. Try and find one that gets items, especially warm things in the winter, to people who can actually use them!
The host gets a big Fashion First Aid kit, with essential items to keep her clothes and shoes looking new. Each participant gets a small Fashion First Aid kit for attending and posting about their attendance on Facebook, tagging @FashionFirstAid and #clothingswap.
Send us a your date and mailing address at least 10 days before the swap via Messenger. (Make sure you like Fashion First Aid on Facebook.) We will Message the participants the business day after the event for their address so we can send them their FFA kit.