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Written by Annouk Post - Saturday, 13 June 2009

In Dutch we have an expression; ‘Van ruilen komt huilen’, which means that you probably get sad when you swap. But I guess this idea is a bit outdated. Since my first swapping experience some years ago, I fell in love with this fashion party concept. The idea is to bring clothes, shoes or accessories that you don't like or fit anymore. These items deserve a second life and are still presentable. And yes I have to confess, it's those silly swapped purple flats, which I would have never bought myself, I walk on most. They make me feel fresh and rich. Ecochic!

Swapping isn't another excuse for the recession. This sharing phenomenon is part of a bigger movement: the rise of conscious consumers who are re-defining the value of things that surround and decorate us. That this ‘Swapping thing’ is not only meant for high teas, sofa’s and living rooms is proven at website Bigwardrobe. Here you can exchange clothes from far over the borders of your country. This makes the swapping-story behind that cute dress even more valuable. Swapping goes further than fashion. On Swapstyle you can even swap games and cosmetics.

A more conceptual and arty approach on swapping is made by by Anne Stooker & Ruby Hoette in their Swapshop. This is a temporary installation where you can exchange a pre-loved clothing item (and its story) for something new! It's based on the idea that clothing is a relic, something treasured for its past associations.

Holland's first successful big swapping event Upperwarehouse, initiated by trendsetters Jet van Schie, Marieke Buijs and Marije Ravelli, took place in 2007. On their stylish website you can read: ‘It all started as a small party at home inviting some friends. The turnout of the visitors was 300%, which made sure that there was a huge potential market for a bigger swapping event'.

Beginning of this year my friend Robbert Andringa introduced me to Dianne Potters. Dianne came with the idea to organize an Ecofabulous Fashion swapping Party after reading 'Veggie in Pumps', a book full of ecofabulous food and fashion tips. Dianne’s and Robbert’s positive energy and drive to make this event work, convinced me and producer Vivian Andringa to join this ‘Ecofabs’ team.

The first Ecofabulous Fashion Party took place at the 3rd of June in Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. We (from the Ecofabs team) invited fashionistas by email and were very impressed by the full list of notifications. The party night started with organic Prosecco and happy shopping tunes by DJ ROELICIOUS. Marijke Vos, green representative from the Amsterdam City council, the Bombshelly’s and host Cindy Pielstroom opened the party. Imagine yourself what happens if you put 250 fashionistas -with the same goal- together in one room… Fun and craziness at the same time! The second version of the Ecofabulous Fashion Party took place June 6, during the Sustainable Week in Amsterdam. Thanks to positive local media attention, women from all ages and neighbourhoods took the time to clean their closets and visit the event. They not only re-styled themselves, they also inspired their ‘neighbours’! Check out the video of the event by Linda Vosjan.

Comments (1)Add Comment
Swapshops in East London
written by Mrs Bear, June 22, 2009
I wanted to let every eager swapper and eco fashionista about my swapshop events that take place around East London. Themed on a world war II "make do and mend" ethos you simply bring your unwanted items and receive your own clothing ration book with colour stamped coupons for swapping. Check out our website for future dates and events! www.mrsbears.co.uk

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