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Swishful thinking - saving money and recycling

By Blogger Network 07/11/2012

Swishful thinking!

Learn about the art of swishing with Blogger Network member Maria...

Swish? Swap? Call it what you like, this trend of saving money when shopping has been around since about 2009.

I attended a couple events back then and they were fun! However, some would argue this phenomenon has been around longer. Back in the day, when trying to ‘de-clutter’ friends and family would often pass things down to younger ones. I myself have been both a benefactor and recipient of second-hand goods. Swish events are usually for adults. However, it can be applied to any age or item that is fit for purpose. It’s also a sustainable way for getting rid of unwanted possessions. Why not swish/swshop for your little ones clothes, toys and accessories?

What is swishing?

So, what exactly is swishing and how does it work? Well, swishing refers to swapping an item or items of clothing, shoes or accessories with friends, acquaintance or party attendees. Participants must willingly give an item in order to take part, once they have given an item, they are free to choose something of interest from what others have offered.

Value isn’t important, swappers do not necessarily get an item of equal value and are free to choose anything that the other person is offering. No money is involved. The first swish event I attended was held at the Rose Theatre, Kingston. It was opened by Nicky Hamilton-Jones, of 10 Years Younger. I had a lovely evening out! But can’t remember what I took to swap. Although, I do remember finding a gorgeous classic style full-length black wrap dress from Coast! The other was hosted by the Kingston University Sustainability Hub. I still wear the Lee Cooper denim jacket I found there. It’s another classic piece in my wardrobe.

Recently, some retailers began to encourage shoppers to hand in their unwanted clothing for charity. These clothes are then recycled and/or reused in one way or another. This makes perfect sense and it’s much better for the environment than winding up in a landfill. Fabric takes months to break down in a landfill. However, when it comes to your little ones clothing (and other possessions), each piece is a memory and has its own story. In these cases it may be less of a pull on the heart strings to let the item go to a home you're acquainted with?

Organising a swish event

A swish event can be organised easily enough. It can be held at someone’s home, or even run in conjunction with a local children’s centre (if they are agreeable and able to provide a room). You will need:

●  A sorting area to get the items grouped to size and type (NB patrons should be given
specific time and place to deliver items AND a time when the swishing will actually begin)
● Display area where items can be hung or laid out attractively
● Chits for friends/patrons to show the number of pieces donated, this would also equate to how many pieces they can take away.
● Refreshments are always a bonus to make the mood more ‘festive’ and relaxed
The swishing experience is like trawling charity and vintage shops for that special find, only NO MONEY is involved. How great is that?! Get your friend and acquaintances together to organise the event, you’ll be pleased that you did.
Happy swishing!

This is a guest post by Blogger Network member Maria.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.