Global Rise of the Fashion Swap

You might be interested to know that our recent fashion swap party is part of a global trend that is taking off around the world.

An article just published on this Japanese website talks about how “the practice of swapping fashions has recently been attracting attention worldwide, particularly in Europe and the United States.”

“There are various sizes of fashion swap events — from small ones among acquaintances to large ones sponsored by large companies.”

There are fashion swap websites (such as swaporamarama, visaswap, and letsxchange).. but I rather like the sound of the way they do swaps in Japan.

“xChange” events, which started in 2007, are designed to exchange not only fashion items but also information and sentiments from the owners of the clothes, using something called an “episode tag.”

“Participants put tags on each of the items they bring and write their name and a brief episode concerning the tagged items.”

“For example, on the tag of a white jacket the former owner wrote, “This is a gift from a friend, but it’s just not my style.” On a tag attached to a pair of red pumps (shoes) a person wrote, “These don’t fit me anymore. I hope someone who loves red can use them.”

“Just as shoppers check price tags, some people check the episode tags before making a selection. The episode tags make people aware of the human connection — something that can’t be counted in monetary terms — and also promote the exchange of feelings and communication by exchanging goods.”

aral-seaAnd of course there are environmental benefits too — cotton growing accounts for around 25% of all pesticides used worldwide. And the Aral Sea in Central Asia is drying up because of excessive water use for cotton.

In Japan the average person buys ten kilograms of clothes each year and throws away nine kilograms. That makes over 2.1 million tons of textile products going to landfill and incineration each year.

Multiply those figures across the USA, Europe, the UK… and clothes swapping suddenly makes a lot of sense!

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