Clothes Swapping Tips for the Party Season

By Eco-Age

Student and upcycling aficionado Maya Oliver shares her tips for how to create new festive outfits for the party season without buying anything new.

December always seems to be the time of year to whip out a chic sparkly dress or fancy new number in a bid to combat the constant worry about what to wear to the many events you have coming up. Although it may be tempting to snap up something new when fast fashion retailers are pumping out the latest trends, you are able to create an entirely new outfit for free. Friends will be your saviour in this conundrum. Not only can you borrow garments or entire outfits from friends, there are also millions of accessories you can borrow to jazz up any outfit you have. 

This way, you definitely won't run the risk of turning up in the same outfit as anyone else, but also you won’t be contributing to the estimated £10 billion worth of unworn garments in UK wardrobes. These unworn clothes will most likely end up in landfill and will take up to 40 years for each item to decompose. Rewearing your items and jazzing them up is a great way to prevent this as it is estimated that extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

There are so many great ways you can share and swap clothes with friends, here are some of my tips:

1) Organise a clothes swap party with a group of friends.  Looking to update your wardrobe and wanting to get rid of some old pieces? A clothes swap party is a great way to do this. All you have to do is arrange to get a group of friends together and take turns auctioning your clothes. If you see something you like, offer a swap. The best swapper wins.

2) Can’t find a time to get a group of friends together? Get involved with a larger clothes swap party. Check out Get Swishing or Clothes Swap Events in London.

3) Call a friend. Last minute outfit disaster? An easy way to fix up any outfit is by calling a friend and seeing what they have to offer.

So, before you head off to the high street, take a look at the ways I’ve managed to update this simple black vintage dress lent to me by a friend:


For more tips on party dressing sustainably, read our guide to renting your Christmas party wardrobe and Rosanna Falconer's Party Looks to Sparkle without Sequins.

Clothes Swapping Tips for the Party Season