Swap it online!

Don’t shop for it, swap for it!

Online swap events can be a fun way to find something different to wear, a new book or something for the house, that doesn’t involve spending money and reduces waste when it is not feasible to meet in person or in large groups, such as during COVID-lockdown.

Swap with friends or family or you could organise a bigger online event involving your local community. Here are some ideas on how you could do it.

The Friends and Family Swap Event

This option would work best for a small group of 5 - 10 family and friends.

You could set up an online group, for example via WhatsApp or a closed Facebook group, or just agree an evening for an online video call.

Agree beforehand on a set number of items for each person to swap; we suggest no more than 4 per person. If you’re swapping clothes, mix it up with accessories such as handbags or scarves to ensure that everyone has something they can swap even if there are a range of sizes in the group.

If you’ve set up a group, ask each person to post photos of each of the items they are wanting to swap beforehand, along with the size and condition.

Set some Ground Rules, for example that everyone is allowed to take up to the same number of items they nominate for swapping. If more than one person wants the same item, then the person who doesn’t get it will have first preference on the next item they want.

Suggest making it a social occasion with your own drinks and nibbles.

On the night…

Take turns with each person showing the items they want to swap. They could talk about where, when and why they bought it and why they want to swap it.

Encourage people to take notes as they go through so they remember which items they’d like.

Once everyone has been through their items, open the swap!

After the event participants either post their items to each other or agree to exchange them in person if permitted. Please note that this should always be done whilst adhering to the most current guidance from Government and Public Health.

The Online Community Swap
Top Swap Tip: This would work best in a limited geographical area such as a road, village, school or university.

Set up a Facebook or Instagram account for the swap detailing the date and start time for when swapping can take place.

Advertise the event on local social media or through leaflets/posters if appropriate.

Leading up to the start of the swap, invite people to post photos of the items they want to swap, along with their size and condition on your chosen platform.

To limit the amount of items and potential postage costs it’s suggested that each participant posts up to 5 items.

On the day of the swap, participants can start messaging each other if they want an item and suggest it operates on a first come first served basis!

End the swap by putting a message on your chosen platform to thank people for getting involved and noting how many people joined in.

Once the swap is over, there are a few options for obtaining the items swapped. These could include:

  • Participants hand delivering the items to each other’s homes (staying outside)
  • Meeting in a public place to hand items over (socially distanced)
  • Posting the items and arranging for the postage to be refunded. This should be done privately by the individuals concerned to avoid any issues with data protection.
  • If the organisers have access to a local hall or similar, it could be arranged for people to drop their donated items off in the morning on a set date with a label indicating who they are going to. After a suitable period of quarantine, they could then go back to collect their ‘new’ items. This may require the organisers to limit numbers inside the hall or to set up a table outside for people to collect. If this option is chosen, the organisers could make a small charge for participating in the event to cover the cost of the hall etc.
Any arrangements involving people coming into contact with others (both indoors and outdoors) should be made in line with current Government and Public Health guidance on Covid 19 at that time.
Online Swapping Sites

If you don’t want to organise a swap event, don’t worry! There are lots of smaller swap groups on social media or bigger sites where you can swap clothes or other items such as Swopped or Fat Llama. Take a look our Sustainable Fashion or Reuse pages to find out more.