Sublime Swapping - Giving a New Lease of Life to Fashion and Just About Everything Else

21 January is World Swap Day! It's the perfect time to look at all the many ways you can experience the delights and money-saving benefits of swapping, whether on or off line.

An estimated $43 billion worth of stuff is stashed away across Australia alone. Swapping goods is a growing trend, as more and more consumers seek a second life for their unwanted goods while reducing both their carbon footprint and their budgets. 

So popular is swapping that, along with lending, bartering, gifting and sharing, it’s been recognised as a key part of a growing trend – collaborative consumption, a sea change in not only what we consume, but how we consume.

But it's in the area of fashion that swapping is really hitting its stride. Clothes-swapping events take place regularly in cities across the globe, and international websites devoted to the online thread swap make it easy to swap your clothes with other budget fashionistas.

Sartorial swapping
We get sick of our clothes, no matter how much we love them. Swapping is a wonderful way to experience the novelty that new clothes offer without damaging your wallet or adding to the world’s landfills or your carbon footprint. It’s also great for items that you’ll only need for a certain amount of time, like children’s clothes.

In Australia, the Clothing Exchange runs regular swap meets in all states except Tasmania, while details of UK events can be found on the Swishing website. The Swapaholics team host regular fashion-swapping events in the USA. The Swapaholics website includes a list of swapping groups across the US and internationally, and the team maintain a directory of swapping events across the world at http://events.swap.com.

Many options are available if you'd prefer to do your swapping via the internet. swapstyle.com is an international website for swapping fashion items that includes a forum. Thread Swap is an Australian website that enables you to swap your unwanted clothing for credits that you then use to ‘buy’ clothes online. Swapkidsclothes.com.au is an Australian service that allows members to exchange unwanted children’s clothes for points that can then be used to select clothes from the range; there are many similar websites for swapping children’s clothes.

Other items
The types of non-clothes items that can be swapped are limited only by your imagination. Sites that enable you to swap all kinds of items easily and safely include SwapAce.com, Swap.com and Swap Australia. The UK boasts a book-swapping site, ReadItSwapIt. The Australian trading site Gumtree has a ‘Freebies’ section, as well as a section where people offer to swap goods for specific items – one user offered a three-month-old queen-sized mattress in return for ‘something interesting’.

Republic of Everyone, an Australian green marketing company, has created The Great Gift SwApp, an app that allows users to swap their unwanted presents for something they really want. This app is built in Facebook, so you need to have a Facebook account to use it.

Hold your own swap party
Swapping with your friends is a great way to enjoy the benefits of swapping! Swap unwanted clothes and other goods with one or two friends with similar tastes, or even hold your own event. Holding a swap party at home is an easy and fun way to make good use of all those unwanted goods cluttering up your cupboards. Fashion, baby clothes, gifts, and surplus food are just some of the things you can swap at a swap party.

The freedom of freecycling
Freecycling is a similar idea to swapping without the expectation of getting something in return, in the short term at least. The Freecycle Network is a worldwide network of groups whose members offer each other free goods that they no longer need themselves – there may be a group based in your town or city. The ReUseIt Network is based on a similar idea, but also offers an online chat group, support to set up local groups and an emphasis on conservation and recycling. (Check websites for information on your nearest Freecycle or ReUseIt group.) Ziilch is a website that enables people to give away items they no longer need.d and find free stuff

The fun of connecting locally
Ever wished your next door neighbour had a brushcutter you could borrow? The popularity of websites that connect people living near each other who want to borrow, lend or rent goods is also growing. Open Shed is an Australian website that enables owners of appliances and other goods to rent them out to people living in their local area. Streetbank is a UK website that allows users to borrow and lend goods in their local area and get to know their neighbours. Share Some Sugar is a US website that encourages neighbours to connect in order to lend, borrow or rent goods from each other. There are many websites like this; do a Google search to find sites that operate in your local area. Some of these sites are profit making, some aren't - check out the terms and conditions on the website. 

Hope you enjoy your swapping adventures.

Until next time!

If you enjoyed this blog entry, you might also like Buried Treasure, Hidden Duds - What Lurks in Your Wardrobe?


Amy said...

Thanks so much for the shout out! Happy SWAP DAY!

Inspired Shopper said...

Thanks for dropping by - glad to highlight your excellent service! Hope you had a great day.