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Sunday, 22 January 2012

Sell, Sew or Swish?

At this time of the year, many of us go about weeding out the old from our wardrobe(s!) and getting ready for the new season as it’s a great physical manifestation of our need for a fresh start. The trend for a while has been to sell unwanted items on sites like Ebay but along with the charity shop drop there are alternatives.  If like me, some items survive the cull because you simply need to see a well stocked wardrobe – then swishing might be for you.

What's it all about Deni?!

I’d heard the term ‘swishing’ before but had never taken much notice as any items I’d convinced myself to discard always went to charity. Also, the swishing I’d heard about just involved friends swapping clothes and I felt there were too many opportunities for drama in that scenario. However, at a Ladies Who Latte meeting a few weeks ago I met the lovely Lauren who explained how a proper swishing event worked. I wanted to actually see how it worked in practice so last Sunday I travelled to Crystal Palace to experience my first swish... and it was an experience – a very pleasant one!

First I was struck by how organised everything was, then as I wandered around I became impressed by the quality of things people had brought, and also it was nice to talk and hear stories about why people were there and their experiences of swishing. Finally I was struck but how much fun everyone seemed to be having – probably because everyone knew they weren’t having to part with cash to get something, when all they’d done was hand in things they no longer wanted/needed/fit into anyway. When the time came for everyone to ‘swish’ the atmosphere was buzzing and it was funny to see people hover and then almost dive towards items they wanted - yet at the same time people were more polite than the supermarket fights over turkeys at Christmas (I’m serious I used to work for a food retailer and it was madness)!

At the end of it all, people were proudly walking out with their ‘purchases’ (I’m sure there’s a proper term!), goody-bags (not a usual occurrence but “Swish in the City” were celebrating their first birthday) and eating cupcakes.

So, why swish rather than sell etc? My view on why swishing will work for me:

·         Swishing is better than the charity-shop run because according to Lauren “Whilst giving to charity is great, not all items can be displayed – as such, items out of season are often sent abroad (some to be cut-up) which has environmental implications”
·         Swishing is better than ‘Save it now and sew/sort it later’ because I never do the ‘sew/sort it’ bit! (Well, who does really?!)
·         Swishing is better than selling (eg on Ebay) because it’s so much more personal and social, and I love a natter!
·         Swishing is better than shopping because you don’t get cupcakes when shopping and have to part with cash!
Personally, I had a great time and I plan on doing it again. Now I’ve just got to work out what I’m going hand over!

Thanks to Lauren for organising Swish in the City: and who provided the yummy cupcakes. 

Lauren Wisdon of 'Back to the Fuschia'

Yum yum!

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