A persistent need-for-new engenders eco-guilt. But trading up doesn’t always necessitate a costly purchase. Save your conscience and your cash by swapping, sharing, borrowing and lending. Daisy Hickey finds ways to update your outfit without hurting the earth …
Bring a thing, bag a thing. Most women don’t even need to mine their wardrobes extensively for treasures worth trading – we have garments we love, but don’t wear. Take a few along – maybe with wine – to a Trash or Treasure Party with your sisters, friends or colleagues. Hosting a big swap-party gathering might right now be a little tricky, but it’s perfect for half a dozen women who share a regular routine (as well as a similar taste in fashion). It also makes a great excuse to hang out with each other, nose through our things, and have a glass of wine or cup of tea while we’re at it.
THE CHARITY SHOP SWAP
Do-gooders, rejoice, as altruistic efforts are rewarded in kind. With so many prolific collectors of good clothes making deposits into local charity shops, the finds are better than ever, and the zero-guilt post-purchase sensation is heavenly. Sustainable fashion fundraiser for Oxfam, Lorraine Keane’s shop Fashion Relief at Blackrock’s Frascati Centre features gorgeous barely worn goods by top designers and boutiques (www.fashionrelief.ie). I picked up a pair of Prada square-toe courts (pictured below) for €50! And every cent went to a good cause. Protect that smugness with an extra resolution – no swap, no shop. Hold off on buying until you’ve donated something – and make sure you’re dropping something high quality.
Sometimes we have a garment or two that we don’t want to sell or donate or casually trade, not due to emotional attachment, but because we want it to live in a good home. I treasure a slightly battered but beautiful Michael Kors coat that I promise to sell, but somehow can’t bring myself to. I would only trust a woman armed with a steam-cleaner, respect for wool and a positive attitude to have it. The perfect way to secure the future of such beloved bits, is a WhatSwap group – a WhatsApp group for swapping clothes. Once set up, you can exchange pictures of your goods and check out others without having to host a gathering or set up a Depop/Vestiaire account. Now, who to add? Careful Contacts. They need not necessarily be a friend – they could be a colleague, teammate, classmate or acquaintance. They are probably Capricorns, or Virgos. It’s unlikely they own anything stained. Make a shortlist of these clean-freaks, suggest a WhatSwap Group, and set it up.
Johanna Dooley and Kara O’Sullivan of Greens Are Good For You.
FASHION RENTAL SERVICES
Feeling the Need for New? Renting luxury garments, particularly for events, is a strong option for the “buy-curious”, budget-conscious commitment-phobes, but also, for eco-friendly fashion consumers. Irish fashion rental service Greens Are Good for You (www.greensaregoodforyou.com) launched last year, featuring a spangly, glamorous and gorgeous range of covetable items that, if you did own, you might only sadly end up wearing once, which are perfect for one-night-only affairs. For rental options further afield, UK fashion rental services Rotaro, HURR and Selfridges Rental have broad mid-range brands at high street prices and it is rumoured Brown Thomas Dundrum when it opens next month will have a rental collection.
Many Depop accounts are open to doing trades – top-for-top or dress-for-dress – instead of purchases, and the app allows for it. Once you have arranged your swap with your swappee, purchase each other’s listing through the Buy button, so that the transactions are logged on Depop’s system should anything go wrong. Then, post your parcel and await your shipment! And there are irresistible offers out there – recently, a fellow Depop user once messaged to offer a brand-new Nike running top that didn’t fit her, for a flimsy Urban Outfitters blouse I was featuring. One woman’s trash …
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