What: Clothes swap
Where: Lush, Broadmead Bristol
When: Wednesday 19th June, 7-8pm
With money going to Refugee Women of Bristol, Lush’s clothes swap was so popular, it unexpectedly sold out early. Fortunately, the weekend before, we’d added our own bags of unwanted clothes to the piles waiting at the store. Entry was £2, but this allowed you to walk out with a small pot of charity moisturiser and one new item of clothing for every one donated.
On the day, we arrived early but weren’t even close to the front of the queue. The clothes were in themed bags, scattered around the store, and once the doors opened, the rush began. After an initial frantic dash as everyone got their bearings, the atmosphere was great- a mix of excitement, friendly chat, and bath bombs.
It was both weird and wonderful to watch people pick up clothes that were yours last week. It was nice to see something you once loved being packed off to have a new life loved by someone else, liberated from the dark corners of your wardrobe. It was a little disorganised, with just one rail of dresses and jackets, and the rest of the clothes in boxes or on shelving around the store. People hid around the corner to try items on, but largely the consensus was, “if it doesn’t fit, I’ll bring it to the next one”. The chaos just added to the sense of occasion, the excitment of dashing around and grabbing at items like you see in the American movie montages of women at sample sales. Remember that scene in Friends where they go shopping for Monica’s wedding dress? Minus the whistle, we were definitely living our Rachel Green moment.
The Force team all went, with both Gemma and Carol walking out with striped tops that once belonged to me. This made me realise 1. how great it is to know where your old clothes are going, and 2. I definitely have some sort of problem with striped tops. It was also pretty fun to see just how similar our tastes in clothes were, the others definitely picked up some items that I’ll happily take off their hands should they change their minds. And it totally explains why we turn up in matching outfits about once a week.
Trawling through the boxes created a certain sense of camaraderie, as people held up clothing for themselves, but also the small crowd who also had to congregate around the mounds of discarded clothes. “This will suit you!”, “If you’re not taking that, I’ll have it”, “Well this is certainly interesting”.
A clothes swap is definitely a highly recommended event!