What is a clothing swap?
Our clothing swaps are community events that provide a public service by collecting participants’ clothing and creating a large “boutique” with them that participants can swap their items for.
Here’s how it works:
- You give us clothing, shoes and accessories in clean, undamaged and in otherwise excellent condition either in advance of an event or at the event
- For every item that meets our above-mentioned criteria, you will receive 1 coupon, which can be exchanged against anything in our swappers’ “boutique”
- The items leftover at the end of the event are donated to a charity, such as The Salvation Army or Goodwill.
How should I prepare my clothing to be swapped? Do you have a laundering policy?
As a courtesy to fellow swappers, please wash all clothing items you’d like to swap in hot water and dry on high for a minimum of 20 minutes (or: have them dry cleaned and keep them in the original plastic covering with a knot on the bottom). When the laundering cycles are complete, the clean laundry should be placed in new, clear garbage bags and sealed. We inspect everything that comes in and reserve the right to reject any item or bag of clothing that does appear to comply with our policy.
We do not accept:
Bathrobes, hoodies, pyjamas, t-shirts, underwear, lingerie, swimwear, sports gear, tank tops, socks, leggings, sweatpants or stockings. Likewise, we do not issue exchange tickets for ripped, faded, torn, stained, scratched, dirty, frayed, missing buttons, broken zippers or otherwise worn/damaged items. Items received that fail to meet these standards will be donated to our charity partner for recycling.
Why is the event called ‘Take Off Your Clothes’? Is there nudity involved in the event?
The SWAP Team invented the name Take Off Your Clothes as a fun and cheeky name for its clothing swaps. The only nudity present at our events takes place in private fitting rooms that we provide for swappers to try on clothing.
What kinds of work do volunteers do?
We’d really love your help at our events with any of the following:
- Clothing check-in and sorting
- Hanging clothing on the racks
- Collecting tickets at “checkout”
- Setting up for the event
- Breaking everything down at the end of the event
- Photographing the event
- Making a video of the event
What kinds of clothing will I find at a swap? Do you have designer items?
The clothing that we receive comes from a diverse crowd of men and women that attend our events. We have seen designer labels donated at our event. We also receive donations of NEW items from local fashion designers for our events, so you may find some hidden gems on the racks!
Who attends your events?
Men, women, families and their children … all ages, all races. We welcome everyone!
Why aren’t the events free?
Although our events are run by volunteers, we unfortunately can’t get everything that we need for free in order to do an event. The admission price that we ask helps us to break even on the costs of producing the event. Any extra revenue that we receive from an event is put towards making the next event bigger and better, and/or helping to set up chapters in other cities. Thank you for your support!
What if I bring a lot of items but don’t find anything I like in exchange?
We’ve rarely had an unsatisfied swapper. That’s because our events are very large and offer many different sizes, colors and styles. Plus, we receive brand new clothing from our fashion sponsors.
Think about it this way: if you gave your clothes away you wouldn’t necessarily get anything in return unless you asked for a tax receipt. At our events you get music, dancing, community and you will probably find a few unexpected gems on the racks.
Can I come inside and look at the clothes you have first before checking in what I’ve brought?
No. It’s unfair to everyone else who has already brought clothing to the event.
If you’re uncomfortable with the risk, then we advise you to only bring clothing that you were going to give away anyhow.
Can I keep my leftover exchange coupons for the next event?
No. In order to benefit charities, we donate the leftover clothing and start over again for the next event.
The only exception is when we have events that span more than 1 day, in which case you can use your coupons throughout the duration of the event. You’ll need to pay the entrance fee again, however.
What is express check-in?
Express check-in is a convenience that we offer swappers who donate their clothing in advance of an event. We put their names on a list along with the number of coupons they’ll receive so that they don’t have to wait in line to get into the swappers’ boutique.
If you’re a DJ or a band and you’re interested in doing an event with us, please contact us!
Do you guys have day jobs?
The SWAP Team relies solely on unpaid volunteers to organize and run its events. So yeah, we all have day jobs.
You’ll find our directors and chapter leads working in education, special effects, consulting, fashion design, graphic design and even music. We welcome volunteers from all backgrounds!
How do I get express check-in?
Contact us for a pick-up and we’ll let you know how to get your clothes to us so that we can add you to the express check-in list for the next event near you!