Shwopping (clothes swapping), also known as swishing, is a global phenomenon created in 2007 by Lucy Shea, Chief Executive of Futerra, a sustainability communications agency in the United Kingdom. She sums up the sustainable, green concept intelligently:
“Save money, save the planet, have a party: swishing effortlessly touches all of these buttons. Swishing parties are for all those women who want to combine glamour, environmental protection and frugality.”
It is definitely a growing trend around the world, especially among eco-conscious fashionistas. And not without good reason: it’s economical, ethical, and fabulously fun and social. The magazine Marie Claire has even referred to it as the “future of fashion”. In Thailand, where women and men of all economic backgrounds are especially fashion conscious, this is an exceptional way to meet those goals and keep one’s bank account in good standing! You can upgrade your wardrobe regularly without spending a dime. And how practical is this concept when it comes to children’s clothing, toys, and books?
Throwing a shwopping party is simple:
- Decide on what kind of items will be exchanged: ladies, men, children, infant clothing, shoes, accessories, books, etc.
- Invite a group of friends who have an interest in these items, but be sure that the size and quality of the items will work for everyone: Difficult to swap a Chanel dress for Gap jeans, and even more so if they are not your size.
- Each person must bring at least one clean, quality item for exchange.
- Provide half an hour in advance of the shwop for browsing only, no exchanges allowed until the shwop officially starts.
- Your event will be even more enjoyable if you add to the atmosphere with some music, drinks, and perhaps even some canapes.
- Once the shwopping starts, have fun trying things on and proceed with an exchange when you have found something you love and can’t wait to take home: for example, you might take an evening dress and exchange a pair of shoes and a blouse in return.
- Do rock, paper, scissors if more than one person wants an item.
- Either donate any leftover clothes to a charity or allow each person to take their items back home if they prefer.
Be eco-glamorous, have fun, and save money!
And if you are interested in learning a bit more, here is an interesting article by Sean Poulter for the Daily Mail: The £30billion wasted in our wardrobes: Britons splash out fortune on clothes – and wear them once a year.