Swishing: it's free and green

Looking for something fun to do with your EcoTeam? Need to get rid of stuff you don't want anymore? Organise a swish!

What's a swish? Swishing is an organised event where your guests bring their unwanted clothes, shoes and accessories. Everyone gets to take home whatever they fancy. Add some nibbles, and you've got a party on your hands.

Global Action Plan recently held a swishing event, diverting 16 black bin bags of clothing from landfill. We saved 50kg of textiles and and 1000kg of CO2 (including extraction, processing, transport, manufacturing and landfill).

Here are our top tips for a super swish:

1. How big is your swish?

Hold a swish with just your EcoTeam or invite a wider circle of friends. Facebook and twitter, as well as posters and leaflets can all be great ways to advertise your swish.

2. Choose the right venue

Consider how many people might come to your swish and how much stuff you'll have. Remember your guests need a bit of room to rummage, and a bit of mingling space.

3. Ask for quality items

Socks with holes and ripped t-shirts could be carefully crafted fashion items, but more often they are unwearable. We don’t wear 20% of the clothes we buy, ask your guests to dig deep and bring along that sexy number they've never worn.

4. Collect and display

If possible, collect contributions to the swish before the event and display the items around your venue before guests arrive. You may need tables, clothes rails and chairs to drape items over.

If your swishers bring things on the day, have them wait in a designated spots with refreshments while you add their donations to your collection.

5. On your marks

One way to run a swish is to allow 30 minutes of browsing time. Everyone gets a chance to look over the items, and choose what they might take home. Then make them leave the room for a breather, and let them back in. This time, everything's fair game.

6. What happens next

After your swish you may have clothing leftover, so plan ahead and identify a local charity shop that will take these items.

Two million tonnes of textiles go to landfill every year, so just think of all those items you’ve rescued!

7. Think about more than clothes

Encourage people to bring books, binoculars, badminton rackets, your brother's Bing Crosby records.

Everything that needs a loving new home is welcome so ask your swappers to rethink what can be reused.