Monday, July 19, 2010
I know it may seem hard to believe, but I do occasionally leave the house without my chicks. One of my child-free destinations is a bi-annual clothing swap in which I've participated since moving to Montreal. Twice a year--once in November, and once in June, I get together with a group of women, some of whom have been participating for close to fifteen years, to trade clothing we're no longer using.
Each woman shows up with a stack of clothes; some just bring a few things, and some bring two huge trash bags full. We take turns showing our wares and distributing them around the room to whoever lays claim. Women's clothing constitutes the majority of what is shared, but there is also usually some men's clothing, children's clothing, jewelry, shoes, hats, and other accessories.
Being poor and frugal, I jumped at the chance to go to my first clothing swap and made sure to firmly plant myself in the group as a continuing participant; there's no way I'm going to miss out on a room full of free clothes! The women are generally fashionable and up to date, so it's not as if I'm coming home with the polyester one-piece jumpsuits favored by my Intro to Sociology professor. In fact, several of the highlights of my otherwise relatively lackluster wardrobe have come from clothing swaps.
I've also gotten jewelry, children's clothing, and the occasional crazy/unique item to add to the chicks' dress-up collection.
The clothing swaps are a ton of fun. Before getting down to the serious business of wrestling over the best and fanciest duds, we all share a potluck, gossip, and catch up with those we haven't seen since the last swap. It's fun, social, eco-friendly, and free--my kind of activity. If you've never participated in a clothing swap, I encourage you to organize one. You really can't go wrong!
I've somehow accidentally volunteered myself to organize a clothing swap for children's clothes with the members of our community garden, so perhaps I will be posting about them again. I can envision doing this with all kinds of things: books, toys--the possibilities are endless.
**I linked this post to Steady Mom's 30 Minute Blog Challenge.