10.11.2021
Article

Don’t throw away. Swap it

How swap parties have proven to be an effective way to swap out boring items

Reading time 3 minutes

Swap parties (from the English word «swap» – to swap) have been around for a while now, and have proven to be an excellent, and most importantly eco-friendly, way to update your wardrobe. However, they are only beginning to gain popularity in Russia. Usually, «swaps» are arranged in cafes, in open spaces, at someone’s home or online. It depends on the number of participants. There is a «thing-for-thing» rule, where everyone brings clean and intact but unwanted items and takes something they like in return. But the most important requirement is that the things participants bring are in good condition. Party organisers advise bringing something they would not be ashamed to wear themselves

Singapore Swap Shop (Source: bangkokpost.com)
Singapore Swap Shop (Source: bangkokpost.com)

Swap parties have several key advantages:

  • It’s a direct route to conscious consumption. By participating in swap parties, people are speaking out against the thoughtless disposal of clothes.
  • It’s not second-hand: all items will be available for free.
  • It’s an opportunity not just to get rid of unwanted items at home, but also to make sure that they still last a long time for other people.
  • It’s a way of getting to know people and their personal styles.
Swap party at a cafe (Source: sustainyourstyle.org)
Swap party at a cafe (Source: sustainyourstyle.org)

In today’s age, the issue of sensible consumption is as important as ever. Mikhail Antonov, head of the Moseco movement notes: «The phenomenon of ‘fast fashion’ is now prevalent, where up to 50 cycles of clothing can change in one year. Half of all clothes sold in the capital become rubbish within a year or after a couple of wearings! Meanwhile, clothes are difficult to recycle, tossed in the rubbish dump, they clog up sorting equipment.» For people, swap parties become an opportunity to swap their old and good stuff for other people’s already new and good stuff. If something has lost its value to its owner, it does not mean that its fate must necessarily end up in a landfill. Sometimes the option of selling clothes can be difficult, given how quickly trends appear and disappear, in which case the «swap» option proves to be more effective.

The fast-fashion alternative (Source: biome.com)
The fast-fashion alternative (Source: biome.com)

«Swaps» can of course not only be conducted with clothes and jewelry, but also with a variety of items, from books to crockery. Also, unwanted items will not go unclaimed anyway. If there is anything left after the event, it will be sent to charity organizations or recycled.

In Russia it is possible to take part in such a swap party not only in the capital but also in Krasnodar, in Kazan and many other cities. And in Moscow, apart from the one-off actions, a real shop has also appeared, but the rules of the “swap” apply to it too – no sale, only exchange.

Sharing clothes (Source: theecologist.org)
Sharing clothes (Source: theecologist.org)

You can organize such a swap party yourself, together with a few friends and acquaintances. You can have a fun and enjoyable time watching a film, listening to music and sharing food and drinks.

 

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