Clothes Swapping – what’s it all about?

Clothes ready to swap

Clothes swapping (or swishing) has become increasingly popular and we truly believe it’s the future of fashion. So for those of you who are new to this concept, read on to get the lowdown.

So basically we all love clothes right? We buy, we wear, we put in the wardrobe until we lose a couple of pounds / the right occasion comes along, we hoard, we buy some more. And so the cycle continues. But what is the impact of this? Most of us have never even thought about it, and that’s ok. But let’s just take a quick moment to consider it.

The Stats*

  • the average UK household owns around £4,000 worth of clothes
  • around 30% of clothing in wardrobes has not been worn for at least a year;
  • the cost of this unused clothing is around £30 billion;
  • an estimated £100 million worth (based on 2015 prices) or around 350,000 tonnes of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year

You may be thinking ‘Wow, that’s a lot of clothes but where do I come in?’ Well here’s the thing:

  • Extending the average life of clothes by nine months would save £5 billion in resources used to supply, launder and dispose of clothing
  • extending the average life of clothes by just three months of active use would lead to a 5-10% reduction in each of the carbon, water and waste footprints

Make a difference without making a sacrifice

Clothes swapping is designed to cut this waste and provides all the fun of retail therapy but without the consequences to the environment. It’s fun, rewarding and there is no guilt attached when you go home with 2 bags full of new clothes (so you won’t need to hide them at the back of the wardrobe in case your other half asks how much you’ve spent!).

So now you know what it’s all about, why not give it a try?  There are lots of clothes swaps happening all over the UK, many for brilliant causes and many just for fun. So go on, give it a go – we guarantee you’ll love it!

Useful clothes swapping resources

* Stats from ‘Valuing our clothes’, a summary of the key findings of a major technical report published by WRAP.