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Swishing (clothes swapping) is becoming more and more popular. It’s hardly surprising – even in this age of austerity most of us still quite fancy a new outfit from time to time and swishing is environmentally friendly too. With swishing, your trash (unwanted clothes) really could be someone else’s treasure (perfect top/jeans/dress).
But I’m a bit behind on the swishing trend and had never attempted it before. So this week I went to The Big Swish at The Long Acre in Covent Garden to see what I could get for in exchange for a dress I bought in the Next sale (which was nice but didn’t actually fit me).
Step one of the swish involves checking in your old clothes. Everything needs to be in good condition – this is not a place to dump tatty old clothes. At The Big Swish, there was a simple system of one stamp for each item you brought with you. I’m reliably informed that some swishes will give you more or less credit on different items (designer would be worth more for example).
Step two was to relax for an hour while they sorted through all the clothes and hung them up.
Step three involved queuing and a countdown to the start of the swish.
Step four – chaos! Swishing reminded me of sale shopping – there was lots of frantic grabbing of clothes and not much room to breathe! But there were also lots of smiles and happy shrieks as swishers found pieces they loved.
I didn’t make any amazing finds myself but I did pick up a dress in exchange for the one I brought with me. I think the best part of the swish for me was seeing someone take that dress off to a new (hopefully well-fitting) home.
- If you see something you like, grab it – you can always take it to one side to check it over later – swishing is not for the hesitant
- Don’t turn up with an oversize handbag (as I did). You need both hands free to rifle through the rails and no extra bags to weigh you down!
- If you can’t find anything you like, look for items you can swap at a future swish
Visit www.swishing.org for upcoming swishing events