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MASTT Clothes Swaps

Events to exchange unwanted clothes in the community of Slaithwaite and Marsden (Yorks) and promote the reuse and recycling of clothing in a fashionable and inexpensive way!


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About this project

Date started:
December 2010
Number of people involved:
Number of people benefitting:
Goals or benefits:
Related Transition stage:



To promote the reuse and recycling of clothing in a fashionable and inexpensive way!


After realising people have perfectly good items in their wardrobes that they simply don't wear, we decided to encourage people to swap items, giving themselves new-to-them wardrobes.

Outcomes so far:

Promotion of reuse and recycling within the local area Increased membership for the Arts & Crafts subgroup Reaching out to the wider community

Obstacles, and how we overcame them:

Here are a few things we noticed -

* At the first clothes swap we had lots of clothes (some not very good quality) but at the second clothes swap we asked people to bring along 'going out clothes' because the event was in December (so we were swapping xmas party outfits) but we didn't have as many clothes at this event. For the next clothes swap we'll just ask people to bring along items of clean, good quality clothing, shoes and accessories.

* Make sure you get plenty of items in a range of sizes, we haven't had a problem so far because we make sure we start collecting items of clothing a month or so before the event.

* At the first clothes swap we served cocktails and canapes (it was held on a saturday evening - so create a girls night out feel), they went down REALLY well but it was very labour intensive to organise. For the next swap we served buns, biscuits and cake, with fruit juice and spicy hot chocolate... but people were expecting booze so it didn't go down very well! We served non-alcoholic drinks because we changed venues and we didn't have time to check if they had a alcohol license. For the next swap we're going to sort out a license so we can serve wine.

* The first venue we used was £150 for 5 hours, it had a bar and changing rooms but it brought the cost of the event up, for the next swap we hired a venue that only cost £30 for the same amount of time, which came with a seperate room for which we used as a changing area. Venue selection is important in creating the right atmosphere and also in determining whether the event will cover it's own costs.

Sources of funding:

For the first clothes swap we got a grant from our local newspaper and the profit from that event has been used to hold the further swaps, with the aim of breaking even in order to raise enough money to hold a further swap.

Further information:

Everyone who comes along to the clothes swap is asked to bring along at least 3 items of clean, good quality clothing, shoes and accessories to swap. The tickets cost £3 and includes a free drink and nibbles. We usually have around 50 people at each swap.

The clothes swaps are held in 3 rounds -
1st round - 20mins long, browse the clothes, try items on and at the end of the round you have to pick 1 item which you can keep. Everyone holds up the item they have picked and then we have a 10minute break.
2nd round - same as the 1st round. Followed by a 10 minute break.
3rd round - in this round everyone can take as many items as they want! This way everyone can go away with lots of items and people get the chance to take the best items in the 1st and 2nd rounds, without people snapping up all the best items!

At the end, the items that are left over are donated to a local charity shop.

Further information


Primary point of contact: 
Tiff Schofield

Is this a Transition group project or other?

Transition project
Last updated: Friday, 30 November 2012
Arts & Crafts


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