Have you heard of swishing? When I first came across the expression, I thought it was the sound my curtains make when I’m spying on the neighbours. But it’s actually a frugal craze that’s been sweeping across the globe during the recession.
Swishing simply means people getting together to swap clothes, accessories or shoes for free, providing them with something new and different for their wardrobe without the need to part with hard-earned cash. It has the added bonus of being eco-friendly, as it’s effectively another form of recycling, and is now considered ultra hip among the eco-fashionistas. As you might remember from last year, even the model Twiggy has got in on the clothes swapping act, making a TV programme about it. But swishing also now takes place on the internet – a bit like a clothes and accessories version of Freecycle or Freegle – with people signing up on sites such as Swishing.co.uk or Swishing.org to swap unwanted fashion items, including designer gear, or to advertise their swishing parties.
This week I’ve decided to take the plunge into the world of swishing and try swapping a few items myself with my neighbour Nina. “Isn’t this just what friends do anyway?” she remarked when I suggested the idea and she has a point. Many housemates and friends have always swapped clothes items with each other. I’m an only child, so I don’t have personal experience of this, but I know that plenty of my school friends used to complain about their sisters borrowing their clothes without asking and ruining them! Unfortunately most of my former housemates were either male or a completely different size and shape to me, so sharing clothes wasn’t an option, although I have occasionally swapped accessories with them. I’ve thought about throwing a clothes swapping party before, but worried that either my friends wouldn’t like each other’s or my own outfits enough to want them (as we are all so different style-wise) or that they wouldn’t be the right size.
Luckily my neighbour and I am a similar size (although I have to say that she is far more trim and stylish), so I’m hoping that we might be more compatible swishing partners. I’ve asked her to join me in a swishing session later this week. Now I have the task of going through my wardrobe to find out which items I am happy to part with altogether, and others that I don’t mind loaning out for a while. I’m looking forward to trying out something new and will let you know how I get on later in the week.
Have you just got into the swishing craze or have you always swapped clothes with your friends or relatives? Is it a good way of maximising your wardrobe? Are there any drawbacks? Leave a message and let me know.
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