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Clothing Swaps

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Clothing Swaps: A Ritual For Changing Seasons or Anytime!
How To Prepare For A Swap Coming soon: Hosting A Swap
Visit us on Facebook LITE Clothing Swaps

A clothing swap is a fun, ecological way to get new-to-you clothes and give away unwanted items. Yes, the term swap is a somewhat of a misnomer, but that is how it was introduced in the early 80’s, and the name stuck. LITE co-founder Portia Sinnott has organized one or more swaps per year since 1985 and has saved tens of thousands of dollars – for herself and thousands of other people. (i.e., $500 per year x 25 years x 1 person > $12,500.)

Often magical events, swaps help ease tight budgets and allows you to take home items you would never dream of trying on let alone buying. Swaps also helps spread the wealth, raises awareness about reuse and reduces the amount being landfilled.

Whether you prefer small intimate gatherings or large public events, the idea is pretty simple: invite people to bring unwanted clothing, accessories and perhaps small reusables and have them to put their goods out in an organized manner. Then everyone can take what they want – for themselves, family and friends. The remainder is boxed up and given to non-profits.

Services: We at LITE enjoy advising potential organizers, posting swaps to our announcement list and collaborating with other groups to hold swaps. Kits are available for a $5 donation and could include portable racks, 100+ hangers, sample signs and invitations.

Volunteers needed:It would be great to have the assistance of an ongoing pool of swap lovers – especially some focused on kids for back to school swaps, prom dresses (see article below) and costumes/gifts/toys.

Clothes On Your Back; Not In Landfill, Press Democrat, December 2009

Perfect Prom Dress At A Paltry Price, Press Democrat, April 2009

New Twist On School “Shopping”, Press Democrat, April 2009


Wardrobe For Opportunity, Dressing for Success Program, Oakland CA, 510 463-4100
Accepts gently-worn, work-appropriate clothing and accessories for distribution to female and male job seekers.

A Miner Miracle, San Francisco CA, 415 217-7230
Men’s and women’s interview appropriate clothing and accessories that are professional, contemporary, in excellent condition, cleaned, pressed, and on hangers – no bags or boxes.

Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation, Brides Against Breast Cancer, Portland OR,
Accepts donations of new and used wedding dresses, accessories, shoes, and estate jewelry. The items are sold and the proceeds are used to grant memorable wishes to terminal breast cancer patients. Dresses that cannot be resold due to torn hems, wine stains or color imperfections are turned into beautiful bride quilts. Stitchers cut apart gowns, remove embellishments and transform the fabrics into a queen size quilt top.