Guide to swishing

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LCWO Swishing 2012

Earlier this year we held a fantastic Swishing event for women and girls. 320 items of clothing changed hands, all free, making big savings for their new owners – and a lot of fun was had in the process.

Swishing events are easy to organise, so why not hold your own swishing party? To help you get started we’ve produced a simple guide to organising a swishing event:

How to swish!

Swishing is simply offering your unwanted but good condition clothing to others who are doing the same, and taking home items that they have brought and that you like. It’s good fun, free, and reduces waste and the environmental impact of buying new clothes. Give it a whirl!

You can either do it on a small scale, with a group of friends, at someone’s house, which is extremely easy – just get people to bring their items along and help you take any remaining stuff away afterwards. On this small scale people are happy to rummage among things in a big pile on the floor. Just be careful when trying things on that you don’t lose the clothes you turned up in!

Swishing can also be done on a bigger scale – two very successful community swishes have been held in West Oxford. We used the local primary school hall, and prettied it up, and advertised the event in the local community association newsletter and with posters in local shops. You need to explain what swishing is, provide a contact number for further details, and specify that it is for women only. It would make an excellent fundraising event – as people are getting lovely clothes for nothing they may be very happy to contribute to a good cause in the process.

You will need to source some clothes rails (we borrowed the Oxford NCT ones) and lots of hangers (you can ask in shops to borrow them), and get items hung up by size, and also get hold of a few full length mirrors from people willing to lend them. You will also need some people willing to help pack away and take the unwanted items to charity shops, and return the borrowed fixtures and fittings.

If you’d like further advice, or help with sourcing things contact Ruth Stavris on 07767 692756. Happy swishing!