Look Fabulous & Save the Planet with a Clothing Swap (Guest Blog)

sustainable fashion, clothing swap, how to host a clothing swap

How to Fight Fast Fashion 

Whether you’re a total newbie or eco-pro, one of the easiest and most enjoyable places for pursuing a sustainable lifestyle is, contrary to popular belief, in the world of fashion. Many phrases regarding the fashion industry, like “fast fashion,” “sustainable fashion,” and “consumerism” have been floating around a lot recently, and it’s likely you have heard at least one of them. It can be kind of overwhelming to discover that something as simple as where we shop for our clothes can have such a large impact on our world, both economically and environmentally. Many people also often think that if they want to live a sustainable lifestyle, they have to give up their beloved clothes and fashion sense for bland and boring lumpy potato sacks - this is FAR from the case!

It is incredibly easy for one to save the planet and look fashionable while doing so. The best part? It doesn’t even have to cost you a thing.

The #1 activity for pursuing sustainable fashion is...CLOTHING SWAPS.

Clothing Swaps

Clothing Swaps are incredibly easy, ZERO pressure, ZERO cost, and tons of fun!

Swapping your clothes helps slow down fast fashion. By NOT purchasing new clothes from high-production companies (like H&M, Forever 21, etc), you are communicating to these companies that you do NOT need them to make more clothing. In case you are wondering, the idea is not to make companies go out of business, but to get them to produce less waste. Think of all the clothes left on sale racks at the end of each season. All of those unpurchased pieces are considered waste - they weren’t sold, so won’t be used - and are typically not recycled by many retail companies! By participating in clothing swaps, you are extending the lives of existing clothing, keeping them out of landfills and our oceans, and creatively updating your style with new looks FOR FREE! I don’t know how much better recycling can actually get.

How to Host a Clothing Swap Party

I did this exact thing with my girlfriends earlier this year. We “Marie Kondo-ed” our entire closets, then brought all of the pieces that didn’t “spark joy” to swap with each other! Even though we all have different body types and fashion styles, each of us was able to find several great quality pieces that had already been tested, approved, and loved on by our friends but still had plenty of use left in them. We even made a fun fashion show out of it to find ways to style our new pieces with our existing wardrobe. Afterwards, we donated whatever was left that didn’t fit us or that we didn’t want to a local thrift store. As you can see, clothing swaps are a great way to save the environment, save some cash, and have some fun!

Thrift Shopping

If you can’t do a clothing swap with friends, you can also try THRIFT SHOPPING.

Thrift shopping is one giant clothing swap that you pay to play in. Thrifting has always been around, but it’s gaining a lot of new attention with the widespread focus on curbing fast fashion and consumerism. Nowadays, you can even find thrift stores tailored to specific styles of fashion, and many will even give you money or store credit for bringing in your own clothes. While it can sometimes be overwhelming, the opportunities to find something spectacular for a next-to-nothing cost are endless.

Rent Your Clothes

Lastly, if you really want to up-level your clothing swap game, you could always RENT YOUR CLOTHES. This is definitely the most expensive and ultimate clothing swap option, but renting your clothes via a monthly subscription offers you incredible flexibility in experimenting with your personal style (like providing access to designer pieces) at a fraction of the cost, and you’re still making the same strides towards a sustainable lifestyle that encourages slow fashion.

fight fast fashion with friends

Wrapping Up

Whether you decide to try one or all options, remember to be mindful of the pieces you are selecting from your swaps. The entire purpose of sustainable living is to be more intentional with what we consume, choosing options that are beneficial to us as well as great for our environments. Many of your new pieces you will obtain for little or no cost, so try to avoid bringing home tons of garments you don’t absolutely love and feel great in. A smart rule of thumb you may choose to adopt is to purchase for longevity, and rent for occasions and experimentation. This way, you are only buying pieces you KNOW you will wear often, and you avoid spending money and closet space on items you are unsure of, or will only wear occasionally.

Now that you have some new tips and tricks in your sustainable handbag, share them with your friends! Enjoy knowing you have made a positive change in your life that will help to make a larger impact on the world - and that you looked incredible while doing so.

Don’t forget to take pictures of your new outfits and share them on social media! Tag #airllywood and @octoECO in your posts so we can follow along in your journey to sustainable living!

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