Swap Shops: How They Work and Why They're Class

They say ‘One’s trash is another another’s treasure’ and in some cases this is true, but Nu.’s ethos is a little more like, ‘One’s unused treasure - that certainly shouldn’t be thrown away, especially when it’s in good condition and probably cost a lot of money – is another’s treasure.’


So what do you do when you have a wardrobe overflowing with clothes (yes, that’s the treasure) but can never find anything to wear?

Well, you take a long hard look at it, give yourself a pep talk, and start a clear out.

It’s never easy to say goodbye to your clothes – partly because they’re beautiful and you spent your hard earned dollar bills to get them, and partly because you give them away for nothing in return and will inevitably have to spend more of those hard earned dollar bills to get new ones. But there is an alternative…


Head along to a swap shop where you can trade in your clothes accessories, and shoes for shiny new (for you anyway) clothes for nothing, zilch, zero, no euros at all.

Think about it. Your clothes won’t get worn in landfill…. or in the depths of your wardrobe… so why not give them a new lease of life?  


So how does a swap shop work?

Bring along the clothes you want to trade and you’ll be given one token per item (a blue token for faaancaay clothes in great condition, and a white token for more casual clothes) you can exchange like tokens for like garments. This insures that if you bring great clothes you get great clothes! If you run out of tokens you can simply buy more.   


Why are swap shops class?

Swapping extends the life cycle of clothes and most clothes never see the light of day more than a couple of times! Think about it this way, everyone wants to have a changing wardrobe without the high cost and the disposal of tonnes of clothes every year. By swapping clothes as a community we all achieve a changing wardrobe, have the flexibility to try out new styles, lower consumption, support sustainable practices, and save money.

There are also catastrophic ripple effects caused by our society’s consumption habits. These are reflected in the poor conditions of the skilled garment workers who make the clothes, and the blatant disregard of fashion houses to take responsibility for the huge environmental impact the clothing industry causes…. But that is a whole other blog post. So, to put it simply; when swapping, there is no need to buy a new item every time you want to wear something different, and small steps like this, as insignificant as they may seem, can have a lasting positive effects.


‘Is wearing other people clothes weird?’

No – sure people share everything.  We share toilets and door handles and hotel beds with people we’ll never meet! We share washed cutlery and coffee cups and towels. There’s also the wonderful washing machine! There, sorted.


What clothes should you bring to a swap shop?

Well, think of what clothes you would like to go home with. Clothes in good condition, well kept accessories, shoes, and bags. Really look at your wardrobe and think ‘what do I actually wear?’


What should I not bring?

Things that you wouldn’t want to bring home from a swap shop. Items that are stained, in bad condition….. stuff that is in tatters basically.

Nu. is a community, so if everyone is sound, everyone is happy!


Come along to the Next Nu. Swap Shop this Saturday, June 25th, from 12:30-3:00, in Wigwam (Middle Abbey Street, Dublin) and get swapping! 


Aisling ByrneComment