February Swap (9th!) recap

Oh, the February (9th!) swap! The sun was shining, the afrolatin music was on, the vermouth was had… and some outrageous – and some less outrageous – pieces were swapped and adopted. And I was very happy. So this time there are no critical remarks. You can find them in previous recaps.

The mandatory ‘bring it on’ Saturday morning elevator selfie. That flower ball is my new official swap headgear:

Doing our best to welcome all creatures in need of a t-shirt, vermouth, carrot stick or a Saturday walk:

If Facebook is to be believed, this was the most visited swap so far. This is the current record at FB reach. At no point it felt too crowded, though. I keep fearing that one day I’ll have to call Guàrdia Urbana to contain the crowd, but we haven’t been anywhere close to that.

However, we ran out of food really quickly. But now we have a new official ‘we are out of food’ snack: popcorn! Turns out people really love them some microwave popcorn. Not organic, not zero waste, but vegan and much better than alcohol on an empty stomach.

Gender and age integration is an ongoing challenge for the swap, as – surprise, surprise! – most uncustomers have my age and my gender. I’m not really sure how to actively encourage underrepresented groups (suggestions are most welcome!) but I’m very happy when they appear, especially the ladies. Because señoras is the real quality mark of an event, they just effortlessly add class. And if I learn that they are into prints as Luisa’s mother-in-law or *animal* prints as Silvia’s mom, my heart just melts! True role models indeed.

The unplanned fail was that I smashed the objective of my camera… I was carrying it in my chain strap purse… and after some happy jumps the chain went ñeh and the purse down to the floor. I bought a new objective after the weekend, but my photographic abilities were meh for the rest of the event. So many of the photos here are courtesy of Margareta. Thank you so much! And lesson learnt: next time the camera will come to the swap into its protective bag and not in a flimsy purse.


And finally we got a little upcycling initiative to take advantage of the textile gathered! For a long time I had wished some refashionistas, patchworkers, quilters, trapillo knitters etc. would turn up and take the some supplies as quite few items at the swap might be pass their prime or suboptimal as that particular garment but still full of potential to be transformed into something else. So I couldn’t have been happier when Aimee wrote: “Hello hello! So I am finally making a bunch of upcycled yoga bolsters, as I think I mentioned to you! A yoga teacher friend of mine also has four yoga bolster covers she needs to stuff with rags. Wondered if you could ask people to bring their unwearable clothes and we can make a rag collection bin? I will then tear it up and it will go into a useful, high value item!” Yes, please!

We designated a big ‘Rags for Aimee’ bag and then the magic of rebirth happened… First, after bringing it home: “It makes me feel so satisfied to have something useful to do with it […] and bolsters need SO MUCH stuffing!” And then: “Hey hey! I finished the bolsters and gave one away. Will take a pic of the two remaining ones and send it to you- perhaps you will feel some satisfaction or perhaps you will be able to use it in a blog post or to talk about where our clothes go in this mad world. […] They weigh like dead bodies but they’re super great for yoga 🙂 […] Can also be used piled one on top of the other as low seating.” And she dyed them herself: “Yes! First try at the shibori method.”

Take Aimee’s example, let me know if you want to come pick up specific items for a project and COME GET THEM. That is, of course, if you need bag-loads of stuff. If you are into small scale refashion and just looking for a theater or fancy dress costume, feel free to just pick up, of course. Although I’m always happy to receive those ‘after’ pics. Like these fabulous ladies who, convinced by Mara, are casually showing off their swap finds:

It could be because Aimee took away three bolsters worth of clothes, but this time the leftovers were really light. Excellent! As I described in the December swap recap, I’m not very comfortable with pushing so much stuff on the Botiga Gratis ladies…


My swap finds this time are two bodyhuggers: cute and flattering to begin with but we’ll see how they perform in the long run. The striped Bershka cutback number intrigues me because I’ve never had one of those fashionable back holes before… this seems to be bra-compatible, hence promising! The pink one needed a fix (thanks, Mara, the result is great!), and now it’s only about the longevity of this Benetton wool mix… how much will it pile?


Do you have any swap experiences? Have you ever organized a swappy event? If yes, how did that go? Or do you have any other routine sources of quality hand-me-downs: family, friends, etc? What’s your best-ever (or just latest) swap find?

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