September Clothes’ Swap Recap

The swap was a whirlwind, so photos are few but precious. And it’s a pleasure to see happy returning un-customers!

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It has been a year since our first swap, we  – me and Liisa – have had four and each of them better than the previous one. And we keep learning, here are some of my observations after this one:

  • We have to do a better job at explaining the whole concept! There are people who arrive thinking that money is involved, there are ones that just drop stuff off as if we were a recycling point, there are people expecting a formal 1:1 swap… Oh, well!
  • The abundance of garments is overwhelming. There are always a lot of things left after the event is over (this was the situation in May, see below for this time’s leftovers), but I hadn’t seen the tables becoming piles that people can literally dig into.
  • We are becoming very good in sorting through garments afterwards, spotting stains, holes, pilling, and sloppy seams. As always, only one suitcase of garments stays with us to serve as “seed” for the next swap, but this time we had no problem in closing the suitcase. We rise to the occasion and become ruthless and picky! Only quality timeless pieces stay for the next time we’ll play shop.
  • I had a personal a-ha! moment with a brand item I’ve been coveting for years. I’ve been drooling over Oleana cardigans for years now, I even ventured into their shop in Stockholm this summer just to touch things and to look at the price tags… beautiful wool blends, stunning colors and patterns, made in Norway, and more than 300€ for a new cardigan. And last Saturday here comes Julie with a vintage Oleana hand-me-down from her mother in law. I tried it and had to admit that the cotton-ramie made in China knock-off I got from her in May fits me better. Oh, the frustration! At least I know who got that Oleana, and I hope Silvia will be very happy with her new Precious.
  • But don’t worry about me, I got a dress and a shirt, so I’m very well served. The dress is 100% polyester which saddens me a bit, as I forget my goal of reducing synthetics in my wardrobe every time I see a nicely patterned plastic! The shirt I haven’t taken pictures of yet is a 100% cotton Esprit number, also blue and with a gorgeous floral pattern. You’ll see…

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We tried a new thing: garment stories! This was only a trial that we hope to expand next time, as knowing the story behind the garment does makes difference. I love those stories of mothers in law who wore things, friends who made things, garments that were brought back from faraway trips or found somewhere unexpected. Clothing is a deeply personal experience, tell me more about yours.

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As always, a huge amount of leftovers to deal with. Be ready, Banc Expropriat, we are going to inundate you with pre-loved garments!

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And we have our next date! This time it’s not a swap, it’s a movie! With some delay in plans, we finally have the date and time for The True Cost. Facebook event is here, mark it in your agenda and invite friends!

Luīze

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