About the Clothes Swap Event

According to Thread Count, textiles from households account for 72% of NSW’s textile waste. What happens to this waste? We know that op shops are inundated with donated clothing that more frequently needs to be shifted elsewhere. Local waste management landfill cells are taking less than four years to fill up. And countries outside of Australia are increasingly dealing with our textile waste. 

Know you’ve made a localised difference to reduce the amount of textile waste going to landfill, incineration, export and recycling as you leave the clothes swap with at least one item of clothing to love again. This community-focused event helps celebrate your individual fashion style by sourcing new-for-you quality clothing. Meet others who share a common purpose by participating in this positive impact event – to reduce textile waste through preloved fashion.

Aims of the Clothes Swap

  • Celebrate individual fashion style through the sharing and preloved economy by reducing our reliance on buying brand new, buy often
  • Reduce the amount of textile waste going to landfill, incineration, export and recycling—all avenues with a high cost, the environmental burden on the planet and mass manufacturing of artificial and finite raw materials.
  • Empower the community to take localised, community action to reduce and reuse quality clothing. This contributes to making a positive impact to reduce the local and global textile waste problem
  • Place value on quality clothing rather than quantity, as well as the value of gifting and receiving within a welcoming atmosphere
  • Promote wholesome community connections as we learn from each other and open up conversations about reducing clothing consumption. Our common purpose is fashion, sustainability and reducing waste.
  • Empower our community to feel a shared sense of responsibility with an intentional approach to reducing our household textile waste and sourcing new-for-them clothes

Click on the links to head straight to the Impact Report, the Clothes Swap Guidelines, the event details, and for how the clothes swap works.

Clothes Swap Event Details

  • Location – of your choosing – workplace, community hall, cafe; the space has to be large enough to have 50+ people, clothes racks and tables; ReNewy Living is based in Newcastle NSW
  • Duration – 1.5 – 2 hour event
  • No. of People – unlimited, the more people the better!
  • Options – this is a community-impactful event and the options for what type of swap is unlimited eg formal wear, clothes, gift, toys, homewares
  • Cost: email Mardi here expressing your interest in customising and pricing your workshop within your goals, budget and location.

How the Clothes Swap Event Works

  1. Bring up to 10 items of freshly laundered, quality clothing or accessories
  2. Check-in clothing with the Clothes Swap team. Receive one token for each suitable item. The team sorts the clothes onto racks and tables.
  3. Have a cuppa and a chat with the other swappers until the Swap commences
  4. Clothing Swap begins once declared open by the Clothes Swap Host. The swap will take place after a brief welcome.
  5. Check-out your new-for-you clothing with the  team. Your items will be weighed to see how many kilos of clothes we’ve successfully diverted from the waste streams. You’ll hopefully leave the swap with at least one item of clothing to love again. Know you’ve made a difference to reducing the local & global textile problem.

Your Clothes Swap Host

The clothes swap event is hosted by eco living educator and advocate Mardi from ReNewy Living.

I’m local to the Newcastle (NSW) region and am passionate about reducing our textile waste. My wardrobe is now 100% filled with preloved and long-term owned clothing. My preloved wardrobe started as a teenager and increased when our family expanded. I love the randomness of second hand, as well as the intentional choices imposed when sizes and styles aren’t available.

Preloved, and the gifting/ receiving clothing and fashion economy is what I value, and doing this by linking our community with each other for shared lifestyle sustainable practises is where I thrive!

Clothes Swap Impact Reports

If you’re interested in the stats about how much of an impact a Clothes Swap can have in your community, go here to read the Lake Mac Clothes Swap Impact Report – October 2023

Clothes Swap Guidelines

  • Clothes brought to the swap MUST be clean, good quality and in good condition. Items should be clean, folded or pressed – good quality means something you would confidently gift to a friend. Please be mindful and considerate of what other swappers will be happy to receive.
  • There’s no guarantee you’ll find your size, as it depends on what other guests bring. We encourage you to bring your friends – people of all sizes and genders can participate in the swap. We welcome clothing designed for male, female, adaptive and all body types.
  • Examples of items to bring: pants, skirts, tops, jumpers, coats, jumpsuits, shirts, catsuits, shoes, bags, shorts, scarves, hats, dresses, sunglasses, jewellery.
  • What not to bring: Underwear, swimwear, overused pyjamas or overused workout gear will not be accepted. Clothes that are smelly, dirty, too worn out, pillaged or damaged won’t be accepted, and you’re asked to take these home.

Related Stories…

Here are a selection of stories that relate to textile waste and clothes repair:

A Few Words from the Community…

“I loved the camaraderie of trying and styling and chatting together around an item of clothing”.

Sophie (Lake Macquarie)

Interested in joining a Clothes Swap Event?

This community-rich event is a brilliant way to take part in the preloved clothing economy model.

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