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The Clothing Exchange, Melbourne

Home > Melbourne > Environment | Fashion | Fun Things To Do | Vintage and Retro
by EricaL (subscribe)
Freelance writer. Editor of:
Ditch your old clothes for new
Statistics say we wear 20% of clothing in our wardrobe 80% of the time. Whether you believe statistics or not, I am sure we all admit to owning a large quantity of unworn items in our closets that are doing nothing more than collecting dust.

Other than donating unworn clothes to the op shop, or making a little extra cash on the side by selling them eBay, there is a way to make use of the clothes and accessories we may no longer wear.

You may or may not have heard of clothing swaps. Take a handful of your unwanted clothes to a venue, along with other people that will do the same, and you all get to swap your items for other pieces that you may get more wear out of.

Clothing swaps can be arranged through friends, otherwise there is a well organised, highly recommended swapping event held in the heart of Melbourne, The Clothing Exchange.

The Clothing Exchange
The Clothing Exchange Australia

The Clothing Exchange was founded by Kate Luckins in 2004 and became a regular event at the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival in 2006. Over the years, The Clothing Exchange has attracted the attention of global media and social commentators for being innovative and engaging. The Clothing Exchange received the winning title of the Green Lifestyle Awards in 2012.

I recently went along to The Clothing Exchange Winter Warm up, held at The Deakin Edge located in the architecturally extravagant glass building in Federation Square on the banks of the Yarra River.

The Clothing Exchange
The Clothing Exchange Australia

The instructions are simple, to bring up to 6 items of good quality clothing pieces and / or accessories, which are exchanged for buttons to be used as currency to swap one-for-one with an item of preference. Volunteers go through garments on arrival, and do not accept anything in disrepair.

The Clothing Exchange
Buttons as currency

Arrival is recommended for 6:30pm, allowing half an hour for volunteers to display clothing and accessories prior to the big swap which commences at 7pm.

The Clothing Exchange
The Clothing Exchange Australia

It is a bit of a mad dash when the swap commences, however it is advised to also wait until the initial rush finishes as many decide a piece is not for them and return back to the clothing rack once tried on for size.

It is possible to try on pieces behind screens. My advice would be to wear loose fitting garments (a long skirt ideal) that would be easy to try on clothing underneath.

I was impressed by the quality of clothes at the Clothing Exchange, with a high volume of vintage and higher end labels, and not so much fast fashion brands.

The people behind The Clothing Exchange have just announced the next swap. The date has been set for Thursday September 5th, to be held at the same time, but at a different Melbourne venue: Shebeen, 36 Manchester Lane, Melbourne.

Tickets for The Clothing Exchange are $25 per person, bookings can be done via The Clothing Exchange website, which will be available very shortly.

What: The Clothing Exchange Australia
Where: Shebeen, 36 Manchester Lane, Melbourne.
When: Thursday 5th September 6:30pm
Cost: $25

Many of us hoard unworn garments in our wardrobe that other people may get more wear out of, and that's why clothing swaps are great!
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Why? Clothes Swap Event
When: Thursday 5th September from 6:30pm
Where: Shebeen, 36 Manchester Lane, Melbourne
Cost: $25 per ticket
Your Comment
Those statistics sound about right. We usually only wear a small proportion of what we own because half the stuff no longer fits, the weather is never right, or we don't have a special enough occasion.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12492) 2337 days ago
I can vouch for that stats, and agree on Bryony on the reasons. But what a great idea. Wish there was one here in Perth!
by SocialHummingBird (score: 3|1194) 2335 days ago
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