A few weeks ago, I was surfing the Internet when I came across an article on clothing swaps. I had heard of clothing swaps before — they’re events where groups of people (usually women, but sometimes men, too) get together to trade clothes and accessories they no longer want or need. In the past, I had heard of people having these events in their homes, for groups of friends, but it turns out that in New York City there are multiple, organized clothing swap events. I like clothes, and I don’t like spending a ton of money on them, so I was intrigued. I checked a few of them out online. I knew clothing swaps were a cool way to a) refresh your wardrobe, b) get rid of some unwanted clothes and c) meet some interesting new people. What had never occurred to me, though, was that clothing swaps also have a sustainability component to them. The group I ended up joining, the Five Boroughs Clothing Swap, says: “Swapping is a great way to dress well, help the environment and meet like-minded people who love fashion and conserving our precious resources. So, change your mind about waste, and change your clothes… ” The more I read, the more I realized that a lot of people who organize clothing swaps do so as an antidote to “disposable fashion” — the inexpensive, poorly made, possibly sweatshop-sourced clothes that have become so popular. Think about it: You could buy a shirt at H&M, which costs money (even if it’s not a lot of money), was shipped from somewhere else in the world and will probably fall apart in six months and end up in a landfill. Or, you could get a shirt at a clothing swap, which costs virtually nothing (some swaps charge a nominal entry fee, while others are free), traveled no further than from a closet a few miles away and is probably of higher quality and therefore will last a lot longer. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some H&M, but it is easy to see why clothing swaps are the more responsible way to go. Oh, also: Items at clothing swaps that are not claimed are usually donated to charity. A nice bonus! So, I would encourage everyone to look into clothing swaps in their community. Meetup.com, Craigslist, community bulletin boards and of course good old Google are all good resources for finding them. And, if one does not already exist, why don’t you start your own? You never know what you might end up with!