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Plan a Clothing Swap

Swapping clothes instead of throwing them out and buying new ones reduces greenhouse gas emissions caused by clothing consumption and waste.

  • At least 5-10 pieces of clothing in good condition that you don’t want anymore
  • A few other people
  • A space to hold your swap
  • An adult to supervise your swap
  • Optional: Snacks and drinks
Illustration of a school gym
School gym (©2021 Let’s Talk Science)

Make sure you have a suitable space to host your swap. Think about how many people you will invite and how much room you will need to display all the clothing.

If you are doing your clothing swap at school you may be able to use an empty classroom or library. If you are organizing your swap outside of school you may be able to use a community centre room or even your house.

Think about what you will use the space for. Will you need a fitting room? Will you need tables? 

Four people standing in front of a white board
Who will you invite to your clothing swap? (©2021 Let’s Talk Science)

If you are going to swap clothes, you need other people! Think about who will come to your clothing swap and how many people you want to invite.

It is recommended that you invite at least 5-10 friends so that there are enough clothes for everyone.

You could also do this with your class, a community group or team. 

Three people engaged in a clothing swap
People look through their piles of clothes (©2021 Let’s Talk Science)

Everyone who comes to your clothing swap should bring the same number of pieces of clothing. This keeps things fair.

Think about how many items you want everyone to bring and make sure to let your guests know when you invite them! 

Clothing items set out on display
Types of items that could be swapped (©2021 Let’s Talk Science)

Clothing swaps don’t just have to have clothing; you can swap shoes and accessories too!

Think about what kind of items you want to have at your swap. How will you make sure everyone brings different kinds of items? 

Clothing swap items organized for display
Various ways of displaying items (©2021 Let’s Talk Science)

If you have a lot of items at your clothing swap it is important to organize them. That way everyone can see what is available.

Will you have a space just for accessories and shoes? Will you organise items by size or type?

Think about how you will display your items as well. Will you get hanging racks to display them on or will you lay them out on tables? 

People of different body types next to each other
People with different body shapes and sizes (©2021 Let’s Talk Science)

People have different bodies and clothing preferences. How will you ensure that no one feels excluded from your swap?

Think about how you will ensure there is a range of different sizes and styles of clothing at your swap.  

  • Create a clothing swap location at your school! Find a storage closet or small room that will act as a permanent clothing swap. Students can bring items and swap them for whenever they like!
  • Spread the word about clothing swaps to your friends, family or on social media. Get other people to hold swaps as well!