HOW IT WORKS
At our physical events, check in with The Clothing Exchange team at the specified time and location. Typically, you can bring up to 6 items to our swapping events, and garments and accessories are quality screened to ensure a fair swap for all. For each item that you bring, you will receive a button in exchange. Don’t lose your buttons! They are your currency for the swap and you will need them when you check out.
Following check in, the team hangs the garments on racks, ‘setting up shop’. Once all the garments have been hung, there will be a brief introduction to the swap and the ‘rules of engagement’ for first time swappers, followed by the announcement that swapping can commence!
It is at this point that swappers may enter the ‘shop’ area and start perusing the racks. While you are swapping, we only allow you to carry three items on hangers at one time. If you have three items, try them on, and if you want to keep an item – take it off the hanger and carry it that way, so we know you are not being a hoarder.
Once you are satisfied with your items and have finished ‘shopping’ you can check out by taking your new items back to the counter and handing over your buttons to ‘pay’ for them! And that’s it – you can go home and enjoy your new wardrobe!
WHAT TO SWAP
Swapping works best when there is a high standard of quality ensuring everyone takes home something they're happy with. With this in mind, we have some quality control standards in place for all our events. The same standards apply online, and while we have put our trust in you to uphold the standards of the online Swap Shop, your swapping experience will be far more successful if you stick to the guidelines below.
Items should be clean, folded or pressed
Items should be of good quality with a long potential lifespan
Items should be likely to be valued by others – ask yourself, would I be happy to give this item to a friend?
Items should be free of faults or with minor faults that are easy to repair (for example, a missing button).
The best items to swap are good quality garments that you once loved but are no longer your favourites or perhaps no longer fit you perfectly. This way, you’re giving them a second life with someone new who will treasure them. Whatever you swap, please make sure to are emotionally detached from the item, as once it has been swapped you cannot change your mind, and any items left over (events only) go to charity.
Note: At our events we have quality screening processes and do not accept anything pilled, pongy or too far from perfect. We do not exchange undergarments, swimwear or tracksuits.
WHAT TO EXPECT
It's quality, not quantity
Our exchange events vary in scale and while in our many years of swapping we have found that swaps of any size can put smiles on dials, so don’t be put off if you think the crowd at a particular swap is looking a little thin. Similarly the Swap Shop may be low on ‘stock’ in the early stages of online swapping, but we urge you to have a little faith, and remember, it’s quality, not quantity.
A wide array of styles
Attending a swap or visiting the online Swap Shop is like raiding your friend’s wardrobe or dropping into your favourite op-shop. Swapper contributions can and have included designer garments, high street basics and a great array of accessories and shoes. It is not uncommon at our events to find a garment with the tags still on. Vintage or new, fashion forward or quirky and one-of-a-kind, branded or homemade - The Clothing Exchange suits the savvy shopper with a strong sense of individual style.
A friendly bunch
Swappers are generally lovely human beings who are likely to talk to you at events, and message you online! Swapping has always been a fun, social activity, and we don’t expect that to change in the digital realm. Often at events, someone will come up to you to tell you that the item you have in your hand was theirs, and how great they think it will look on you. Feel free to share stories about garments in person and online – it all adds to the great swapping community vibe.
TIPS FOR EVENTS
Play fair, be patient and have an open mind!
With almost free clothing on the line, excitement can run high among participants. Our volunteers keep a watchful eye on the proceedings and ensure that all patrons take no more than 3 garments to try at one time. When claimed, garments are taken off the hangers. This ensures that hoarding is avoided to enable a fair swap for all.
Patient swappers go rewarded because as the first flurry of trying on garments passes, the real gems can find their way back to the racks.Like regular shopping, it's never the garment you thought would suit - it's the one you almost didn't try that fits like a glove.
Speaking of gloves, don't forget our accessories department as this attracts some of our finest donations and in the case of jewels or scarves, sizing is not often a challenge. If you'd like a hand, don't hesitate to call in the help of our lovely volunteers who are happy to take on the role of personal shopper. If you have a spare button or two, consider swapping for a friend, sister or niece and surprising them with a treat.