As I’ve mentioned already on the blog, I participated in the Montreal Take Off Your Clothes clothing swap last weekend. After dropping off a garbage bag of clothes the previous weekend, I was feeling good about making some space in my [tiny] closet. On my way over to the swap Saturday morning, I was planning on taking photos as a volunteer for the event and seeing how the event would go. I didn’t expect to find much – why would I want something that someone else didn’t like?  I don’t know WHY I thought this, I buy other people’s garbage at thrift stores all the time. I guess I usually like my clothing to come from old ladies, not people my age.

However, I ended up pleasantly surprised and came home with almost as much as I donated. [oops – sorry closet] Not to mention what I came home with was a little bit of everything; skirts, dresses, pants, tops, shirts, shorts, shoes, accessories, a hat. I could make an entire wardrobe from these 19 pieces [plus undies, those weren’t available at the swap.]

You should know by now that I am a big believer in buying second-hand and I cringe whenever I walk into a mall. I think getting dressed should be an expression of your personality, not the latest trend. [Also, no wearing leggings as pants, I don’t care WHAT your personality is] The whole idea behind swapping is to encourage people to swap, not shop. That’s an idea I can get behind.

A few photos from the swap:


  1. Wow, looks like a blast! A similar event happend in my city (Philadelphia) the other week but I was out of town and unable to attend : ( I definitely hope something happens again soon!

  2. So glad you found so many fab items at Take Off Your Clothes!

    @Ani @Chaucee, The SWAP Team is a nonprofit run by volunteers, and we like to set up chapters wherever we can to do more events. If you’re interested in bringing our mega clothing swap to your city, drop us a line at

    ‘Til then, SWAP on!

    Aleece Germano
    President and Founder
    The SWAP Team

    30,264+ garments swapped
    37,312+ garments given to charities
    67,576+ garments kept out of our landfills
    $605,280 saved by swapping … and counting!


  3. I give it a try and was dissapointed, I gave 5 items, picked exclusively for the event, all clean and in pristine condition. For them I received 3 tickets, and when I looked at the garments that were available to swap I saw low quality ‘fripperie’ like items, I picked 2 mor or less quality garments and at the end I had to go to the girls section to get 1 final item.

    I guess that the people who pick the items didn’t had good quality values. …Or the drop-off location stole some of my very good condition items…

    • @Luis, thanks for coming to our event. We love hearing about men giving swapping a try. While we are seeing more men attend the event, 90% of our participants are women, so that does tend to limit the selection for men.

      All of the clothes are sorted by hand by trained volunteers, however, one sorter may be more picky than another. It takes a lot of people to sort 10,000 garments and we’re sorry if some of your items didn’t make the cut. If you are concerned about theft (which, in our 5 years of experience working with trusted partners is an extremely unlikely possibility), please email our President and she will look up your file in our inventory tracking system:

      Did you know that our charity partner Renaissance receives the rejected items as well as leftover clothing from the event? So that means the two items that didn’t make the cut went to them along with items left on the racks at the end of the event. In theory, if everyone used all of the exchange coupons we gave them, it wouldn’t leave much for charity. We encourage everyone to support the charitable goal of our event by consuming a bit less than they brought in.

      As for the quality of the items, were you aware that the majority of the items we receive for the event are used (e.g., from other peoples’ closets)? We do sometimes receive brand new items, but these are primarily donated by local designers of women’s fashion. Nevertheless, if you compare the cost of admission of our event with the price of individual ‘fripperie’ items (used clothing isn’t cheap anymore!), chances are you still came out ahead.

      We hope you’ll give the event a try again next year by inviting all of your stylish male friends and perhaps even volunteering in the sorting department. We love having sorters with a keen eye for quality helping us choose what gets accepted into the event.

      Thanks for your support and SWAP on!
      Aleece / The SWAP Team

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