HOW A SWAP & MEND WORKS:
• Bring a maximum of 10 clean, unbroken, good condition clothes for colder days.
• We won’t accept clothes that smell, have holes, are pilled or dirty.
• You can swap for the same number of clothes as the good quality clothes that you bring.
• Bring your mending kit and join our community of sustainable fashion lovers.
Why you should Swap&Mend
The fashion industry is notorious for producing more clothes than we can realistically wear. For example, ultra-fast fashion giant, Shein, produces between 35,000 and 100 000 every day. This results in large volumes of waste which often ends up in landfills.
This excessive overproduction is coupled with rampant overconsumption. These volumes of waste, the growth of fast fashion giants, and the never-ending trend cycle make tackling the ills of fast fashion seem overwhelming. But, if we made these systems, we can unmake and remake them too. It all starts with rethinking how we shop.
Recirculating clothing that already exists is one effective way to tackle fashion’s waste crisis and limit the demand for new clothing. Clothes swaps have become a fun and Earth-friendly way to do this.
What you can expect at a Swap&Mend
Clothes swap events are gatherings of people who get together to exchange garments they no longer wear. This allows these items to stay in circulation for longer, instead of going to waste.
We all have items in our wardrobes that we hardly wear, because we have outgrown them, our style has changed, or maybe you just don’t want to wear your ex’s hoodies. A clothes swap is a great way to responsibly rehome these items and allow you to add a new-to-you item to your wardrobe at the same time. They also teach us the value of a community just like the circulating pants in The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.
It gives you the thrill of a mysterious treasure hunt and it’s a fun way to get out of your comfort zone and try a new style that you’d been eyeing.
What to keep in mind
One thing to keep in mind about swaps is that you don’t always find exactly what you’re looking for and might leave empty-handed, occasionally. Clothing swaps are a practice in patience — if you wait long enough, you’ll usually find a gem.
As with any other event, there are certain rules that participants need to adhere to, such as the maximum number of items you can exchange, ensuring your garments are clean, making sure garments are free of holes and tears, and avoiding undergarments. The golden rule is: If you wouldn’t feel comfortable gifting it to a friend, then you probably shouldn’t be bringing it to a swap shop, because chances are it is not in a condition for anyone else to wear either.
This is your sign to swap before you shop. Switch up your wardrobe and lower your fashion footprint at the same time. What are you waiting for?
- Twyg’s Swap&Mends happen every third Saturday of the month at Nude Foods, in Cape Town. The entrance fee is R50 and you can swap up to 10 items.