In an age where constant reminders of the significance of sustainability and conservation are rife, the idea of shopping as we know it has become more confusing and, more so, less appealing once we are aware of its hidden consequences. But for many of us, the thought of completely eradicating our shopping habits is almost impossible; so how can we continue to reinvent our wardrobes, without the guilty conscience?
Investing into pre-loved fashion is no longer a case of receiving your older sibling’s hand-me-downs; we are globally witnessing a worldwide wave of new collectives, all paving the way towards a formation of more ecological and environmentally-friendly substitutions. In an attempt to snub the popular high-street conglomerates, these programmes are reforming the vintage and second-hand scene to one that is highly desired, accepted and universally recognised, all whilst saving the earth in their stride.
The UK is no stranger to these latest attempts of re-defining fashion as we know it. To celebrate the movement, we’ve rounded up a few of the top clothes swapping events that are taking place around the country this season.
Jeneral Store / Know the Origin, Manchester
Based just a short walk away from the main hub of Deansgate, Manchester, Know The Origin is the latest pop-up store to grace the metropolis with innovative, original and contemporary products – all contributing towards the conservation of our planet. The store has introduced their latest attempt to highlight the accessibility of sustainability through the concept of ‘clothes swapping’. Turn up with five items of clothing – which are required to be either brand new or in lightly-worn condition – and you’ll be greeted with a number of tokens (dependent on your own contribution) to use towards grabbing a few new garments for yourself.
“In a time when the clothing industry is wreaking havoc on our planet, swapping clothes is fashions newest trend, leading consumers into giving their clothing a much deserved second life.” – Know The Origin.
Walk in Wardrobe, Shoreditch
Opting to take a tokenless approach within the swap and shop movement, Walk In Wardrobe have adopted a “if it fits, it’s yours” ethos towards the shopping experience. Entry is priced at £10 per ticket, but once inside anything that you set your eye on – and is in your size-range – is yours to keep.
As well as the opportunity to pick up some one-of-a-kind pieces, the event offers a free drink on arrival and appetisers all evening, alongside the opportunity to engage in workshops aimed to help you make more mindful decisions when it comes to shopping. Educational speeches are conducted throughout the evening (with their most current event focusing on the major shopping annual festivities, in particular Black Friday) and the strain that they are placing on our planet and the industry.
“Let’s use up what we’ve got collectively, rather than buy new all the time.” – Walk In Wardrobe
Think and Do, Kentish Town
Move over Ecotober, Nothing new November has arrived. Curated by the Camden Friends of the Earth community, the event – located at Kentish Town’s Think and Do pop-up store – offers its customers the chance to get involved in their challenge of refusing to purchase anything new, for the entire 30 days of November. In order to celebrate the month and make shopaholics lives’ a little easier, the community are hosting an evening of clothes swapping and workshops. Individuals are invited to bring in around three to five unwanted garments to donate and are encouraged to leave with new pieces, alongside a new-found inspiration to buy more consciously.
Camden Friends of the Earth campaigns for solutions to environmental problems – for action to create a better, greener Camden (and beyond). – Camden Friends of the Earth
So, the next time you find yourself deliberating throwing your old garments away, consider the more environmentally-safe alternative and take a trip down to your nearest clothes swapping experience. You never know, you might just leave with an entire new wardrobe of pre-loved gems and save yourself some money in the process.