At The Makehouse: Swapping Clothes for the Indigenous Perspectives Society

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On October 12, The Makehouse hosted a clothing swap in support of the Indigenous Perspectives Society and in partnership with Womens March Victoria, Used.ca and Fashion Revolution Canada. More than 60 people supported the event by volunteering, donating clothing, making monetary donations to the Indigenous Perspectives Society, and finding second hand pieces of clothing to take home and love so that they would not end up in the landfill. The clothing swap was awesome, crazy, and full of energy as people sorted through womenswear, menswear, childrenswear and accessories. Anything that was left at the end of the night was donated to a local secondhand shop.

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Have you ever been to a clothing swap? This was the first clothing swap I have ever been to, and it was so much fun. Everyone was excited to find their own unique treasures, people were trying on items in the middle of the room, and laughter could be heard from every corner.

Donations of clothing were accepted days before the event and at the door, and tables continued to be populated with items throughout the night. The discovery never ended! Some people left with piles of clothing and accessories and others left with a few special items. Everyone was free to choose which and however many items they wanted to take home with them.

Jenny, founder of The Makehouse, with the Indigenous Perspectives Society.

Jenny, founder of The Makehouse, with the Indigenous Perspectives Society.

Karly of Used.ca with all of her finds.

Karly of Used.ca with all of her finds.

Jenny with the awesome hat she found.

Jenny with the awesome hat she found.

Women’s March Victoria hanging out at the clothing swap.

Women’s March Victoria hanging out at the clothing swap.

Tips For Organizing Your Own Clothing Swap:

  • Make sure to label each donated item with a size. For the clothing swap at The Makehouse, all clothing had a paper label where the size was attached to each garment with a safety pin. It was important to use safety pins rather than regular sewing pins so that nobody poked themselves while trying on items.

  • Organize your clothing on tables. All the clothing was sorted and organized in different categories on the tables. There were tables for womens shirts of sizes small, medium, and large; tables for womens pants, mens pants, childrenswear, and shoes and accessories; and tables for sweaters, dresses, and skirts. We also had a few collapsible clothing racks to hang longer dresses and coats from. Organization makes it much more enjoyable for clothing swap attendees to sort through the available items.

  • Designate an area for changing. At the swap there was an area with a room divider that was available for people to change and try on clothing. However it is best to encourage clothing swap attendees to wear leggings and tank tops or tight t-shirts because it makes it easier to try on items right at the table.

  • Make it a night! Play music, encourage the charity you are choosing to support to have a table at the event, and if people are up for it encourage them to show off their finds to friends in a fashion show.

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There is so much clothing in the world. According to an article by the Huffington Post, the average American (which I would probably expand to North American) throws out an average of 70 pounds of clothing and textiles per year. Let’s keep some of that clothing that we no longer want out of the landfill by swapping and sharing it with our friends. Just because you no longer like your purple striped sweater, doesn’t mean that someone else won’t love it. And if you need to donate clothing, choose a second hand shop that works with a local charity like the WIN Resale Shop here is Victoria that supports the Victoria Women in Need Cooperative.

Just like with plastics, metals and other recyclables; reduce, reuse, and recycle your clothing! Stay tuned for future clothing swaps with The Makehouse!

Swap it up!
xx Cady