There’s a community-based clothing swap event happening here in Toronto. She Shops Swap is the smartest, eco-friendly and sustainable shopping event created by a Leaside local resident, Vicki Hall. With awareness of how the fashion industry impacts the planet (oh, and in so many ways!) she created one of the most fun and exciting “shopping” events in the city!
Hall’s experience as a consignment store shopper and seller gave her insight into how the resale fashion marketplace worked. She noticed a gap between donating clothes and items that were not accepted by designer consignment stores. If you’ve ever tried to off-load to these shops, you already know how selective they can be. Prada, yes. Coach, maybe. Think of the pieces we’d be willing to part with if it was our sister, bestie, neighbour, or coworker. We may even consider selling on sites like Poshmark. What do we do with these?
I know that feeling all too well. My sister is often the recipient of my beloved pieces that I was never quite ready to donate. “I’d like to see these pieces enjoyed”, was my thinking… like that Smythe jacket from five seasons ago.
This concept of “swapping” brought me back to my early 20s. My friends and I were just starting our careers and we LOVED fashion. We would get together to exchange clothes and accessories to keep our wardrobes looking fresh.
Hall started the swap party in Leaside had 75 women participating in March of 2020. The social community event saw 600 fashionable items exchange hands. Then, another one took place in 2022 once Covid restrictions eased. Anything leftover from the events were donated to the New Circles Glow Clothing Bank. Everyone benefitted.
The next date has been announced for April 11, 2023.
Here’s how it works:
Each person can contribute up to 10 items (pre-owned or new with tags) and all sizes are encouraged. Accessories (e.g. sunglasses, bags, scarves etc) are accepted. Everything must be clean and in good condition.
The items will be accepted at the intake location on specific days in advance of the event (listed on their official website here). A ticket will be provided for each item submitted (one-for-one) that can be used at the upcoming event.
Then, bring the tickets to the event and shop away!
Any pro-tips for the actual shopping event?
“Hang out until the end…many participants try things on and then put them back because they don’t end up fitting,” said Hall. “So many great items get left ‘unswapped’ because people think the good stuff is gone – there’s a chance it will come back to the rack! Also…wear something you can try things on over…leggings and a tank are key!”
In addition to the swapping event, local vendors who are also eco-conscious and committed to sustainability will also be there.
There is an entrance fee to the actual She Shops Swap event and participants can grab early bird tickets. For all the details, visit sheshopsswap.com
You can also read more about it here.