Swapping clothes gives them new life

Clothes laid out on a blanket Trevor Speetzen | Lariat

Clothes swap parties give people a chance to clean out and get a whole new wardrobe

A clothes swapping party took place on March 19 at Craig regional park in Fullerton. People got together and swapped certain clothes from their wardrobe with other people for different clothes free of charge. 

“Clothes swap is a sustainable way to share clothes basically,” says one of the organizers Rey Baca. “We brought our clothes that we would’ve donated and brought it to the community to switch with other clothes.”

Rey Baca began this event in 2019, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic she was unable to do this event annually. This is the second time this event occurred and it was also the second time it happened at Craig regional park. Baca organized this event with her sister Serena and Mohammed Qalla.

“Being able to connect with other people in the community,” says Serena Baca. “People who have the same goal of trying to lower the waste of purchasing pieces from fast fashion companies.”

People who attend this event see clothes swapping parties as an opportunity to reuse clothes that still have life in them. At virtually no cost people get a whole set of clothes that’s new to them without having to go through the hassle of spending money in superstores.

The purpose of this event was for people getting a whole new wardrobe without spending a dime. With that being said, patrons aren’t swapping a belt for a belt or a shoe for a shoe. Something that’s not valuable to an individual may be valuable to someone else and could trade for any type of clothing.

“It’s not trade for trade,” said Qalla. “They don’t have to swap a shirt for a shirt, you can grab whatever you want.”

The organizers for this event put this on so it could be more “eco-friendly” to try and save clothes that can still be used rather than purchasing more.  Purchasing more clothes can be seen as wasteful to both time and money. People who come out to this even take advantage of swap parties in order to sustain their lifestyle.

“Sustainability, but also I need to get rid of my clothes,” says one of the vendors Ranielle De Leon. 

People who can’t afford clothes at bigger chains and typically shop at thrift stores will take advantage of events like this. Their goal is to find clothes that maintain their lifestyle or even get rid of their old clothes and maybe find new clothes that adhere to a new style. Others come out to a clothes swap party in order to connect with their community, meet new people and get out.

“I like meeting new people,” says vendor Priscilla Huerta. “Getting out in the fresh air at events that are during the day.”

When trading for new clothes, nobody seemed to be disappointed that they were parting ways with clothes that they’ve had for awhile. Instead, they were excited they were receiving new items that could lead to a whole new style.

“I like the new stuff,” says vendor Brenda Cisneros. “I’m definitely more excited about it.”

Whether people were excited or disappointed in either receiving or parting ways with clothes, the similarity that everyone shared is that it beats the hassle of having to thrift or shop for new clothes that are usually more expensive.

“This is my first time and I like it,” said Cisneros. “We can come in and switch clothes, I don’t have to go out and buy new clothes and I’m saving money.”

While it had been awhile for Rey Baca to organize this event after the COVID-19 pandemic, it still provided a fun turn out for people who are looking for a new wardrobe.