Swap Shop

I’ve written posts on the subject of clothes before.  Without looking I can pretty much guarantee I’ve written something like, ‘I don’t give much thought to clothes’ or ‘clothes don’t occupy a great deal of my time or thinking.’  Nevertheless I am not walking around naked.  (Believe me that would not make the world a better place!)  I have, regarding clothes, at some point or other made some kind of consumer decision probably based upon price, practicality, aesthetics and sense of self.  I suspect not all of them have been good decisions or indeed green decisions.

I’ve been thinking about clothes rather more than usual in the past couple of weeks.  First of all a couple of weeks ago I listened to Mark Boyle discussing his Freeconomy on the radio.  His is a site well worth visiting, but it does make me feel like I’m really not trying hard enough!  I’m quoting from memory so this won’t be accurate, but it is the gist not the details that are important – he suggested something like if absolutely no more clothes were produced in or imported into this country we’ve still probably got enough kit knocking around to be recycled and redistributed for the next twenty years.  In short we just don’t need more stuff.

my new outfit!Of course, children grow upwards, adults (generally) grow outwards and we all grow tired of the same old stuff.  I was quite pleased then to be invited to a Swap Shop organised by Transition Buxton.  (Transition Leek would be even nearer to us so we’re going to steal ideas and suggest they put one on!)  The idea is you take along clothes that are cleaned and ironed and presented on a hanger.  For each item you receive a ticket which you can then use to purchase an item brought along by someone else. 

I took my friend Sarah with me, her daughter Pippa, and Goldilocks who is a born rummager and horder.  We had a really good time.  We all had a drink and a good laugh and it was nice to get to know people better who I knew vaguely from other events.  Sociable and fun are the keywords of the night.  I have to admit I couldn’t help feeling secretly pleased when someone much younger, slimmer and trendier than me bought some of my old stuff.  I suspected that most of us, with wry amusement, were reflecting upon how hard it is to escape the stereotypical gender norms imposed upon us by the fashion and beauty industries.  Is it our green duty not to give in to these insecurities?

I took along nine items in the end, I struggled for hangers I can tell you, I have a bad habit of stuffing things into drawers.  All nine items were quite disperate and didn’t go with each other in any way whatsoever but I quite gleefully returned home with something which could be described as a complete outfit, although I don’t know how good it will look with rigger boots!     

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4 comments to Swap Shop

  • Hi Goo
    An excellent idea. I wonder if I can get something like it started at the local village hall
    The freeconomy site is excellent, unfortunately I am the only site-registered freeconomist skillsharer for miles :-)

  • goo

    It could be worse, your skill could be accountancy or money-lending! A swap shop at the village hall sounds great, go for it!

  • Oh I love clothes swaps! I’ve come across a couple of people who hoard clothes and become like a clothing clearing house to their friends – for instance people bring clothes they no longer want to K’s house, and when you go to visit her she’ll drag you downstairs to the basement for a rummage and won’t be happy till you’ve left with something. If you don’t like what you got you take it back on the next visit – someone she knows will snap it up. I’ve given and received loads of fantastic stuff via her basement over the years and she’s been doing it ever since I’ve known her. She’s a bit like Mr Benn!

  • goo

    Mr Benn? You’ve taken me back there, fancy dress everyday. I bet that would make the world a better place!

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