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How to Host a Clothing Swap

20140420-084249.jpgAbout twice a year, my darling friend Sarah hosts a now famous clothing swap. The concept is simple, yet brilliant: women bring their old clothes ahead of time to be dropped off, then arrive the day of to ‘shop’ around and take what they like. Not only does it save a ton of money and time, but it’s also an awesome way to recycle and do your part for the environment. Plus, free stuff, you guys! If you’re interested in hosting something like this, I thought I would put together a little how-to guide on setting up.

First things first: send out a mass Facebook message, or email, inquiring as to when would be convenient for most people. Remember, the more people you can get to participate, the more clothing options you’ll have, and in general the more fun. Treat it like a cool social gathering, a clothing party! We typically invite anywhere from 20-40 people, and on average, around 25 pop by. Remind people to bring their own reusable bags to take things home in, so that clothing doesn’t get mixed up. Also ask them to bring small change as a ‘donation’ to cover the cost of providing snacks and some beverages.

Arrange your apartment or house as a mini clothing store, with various racks, extra hangers, and some tables with folded clothing on it, like these:



20140420-084300.jpgWe arranged things according to style, and when it was more complicated, like the pants table, also by size. Make sure to put signs on everything so people know what’s going on. For example, my friend Lindsay and I crafted these fine pieces:



The ladies hard at sign work.

The ladies hard at sign work.

Finally, it’s nice to make it a way more social occasion and provide some light snacks and drinks. Sarah made a gorgeous cranberry punch and had a little drink bar (which you can see in the first photo), as well as some awesome healthy spread options – veggies, guacamole, some cheese pizza, and someone even brought a lovely homemade gluten and dairy free carrot cake (thank you very much!).

This is my favourite part of every party.

This is my favourite part of every party. Also, yes, you can totally see my feet at the bottom; I was standing on a chair to take this photo.

Lastly, make sure all members of your household are cool with you hosting something. We double checked with Nora and she seemed pretty ok with the extra attention.

"I will be getting more treats for this."

“I will be getting more treats for this.”

Have fun! I got some great new-to-me items that I will most definitely be getting lots of wear out of. Have you ever hosted a clothing swap before?






  1. Dani

    Awesome post! I should probably consider throwing one of these! You’ve inspired me!

    …and can i just say, I especially love the signs ladies hahaha

    • Jess A

      Danielle, you’ve definitely got a good start for a clothing giveaway with your fab wardrobe! Also thank you for noticing the signs — they’re kind of amazing. Of course you would appreciate them! Haha

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