Somerset Green Party


‘Swishing’ clothes is latest eco-friendly development to hit the fashion world, an organised event where people bring their unwanted but good-quality clothes, for free swapping and a good time. Swishing parties are easily accessible as they can be organised by anyone, resulting in their global popularity – events have been organised in South Africa, China and Brazil. Along with the rise of charity shops it seems people are becoming more conscious of the impact shopping has on the environment - not to mention what impact buying clothes from the same shops as everyone else can have on your personal style. As Lucy Shea, the founder, says

Save money, save the planet, have a party: swishing effortlessly touches all of these buttons. Swishing parties are for all those women who want to combine glamour, environmental protection and frugality.

According to, 900,000 tons of shoes and clothes are thrown away each year, 75% of which is sent to landfill or burnt, showing how shopping can be a major contributor to the polluting of our planet – but many of us, and I include myself in this category, aren’t ready to give up buying new clothes. Swishing is one way we can get the thrill of finding exciting and unique pieces at the same time as reducing carbon emissions and, of course, going easy on our bank accounts.

The amount we throw away perhaps suggests that we don’t appreciate our clothes as much as we should, or don’t think twice before we buy them. The coming of cheap high street shops has influenced a wear-once culture which is harmful to our environment. Swishing and donating to charity shops is usually preceded by someone sorting out their wardrobe, and this could help us to appreciate what clothes they already have. Television programmes such as Gok Wan’s Fashion Fix highlight the merits of a ‘capsule wardrobe’ and Mary Portas’ Mary Queen of Charity Shops document the more eco way to get rid of old clothes.

It’s not surprising that fashion swishing has been dubbed ‘The future of fashion’ by fashion journalist, Jess Cartner-Morley. It’s the perfect way of finding new, free clothes with a clear conscience, find local events by visiting the website -  A swishing party was held in Lyme Regis on 14 May, so it's happening here in the south-west, too. Email if you'd like to organise a party in your area.


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