Apr 13, 2023 - Things to Do

Trade in your old clothes at a big Chicago clothing swap this weekend

A poster for a clothing swap
Poster courtesy of the Chicago Fair Trade museum

Those jeans that don't fit anymore could become another person's treasure — if you bring them to the Conscious Closet Club's Clothing Swap this weekend.

Why it matters: April is Earth Month, a great time to pick up new eco-friendly habits like trading clothes instead of buying new ones.

  • And fetching "new" duds found at swaps like these comes without a side dish of guilt over the environmental impact and other pitfalls of fast fashion.

Where: At the Fair Trade Museum in New City Mall, 1457 N. Halsted St.

When: Friday from 5-9pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12-5pm.

How it works: Organizers advise participants to register, then drop off their clean, gently used clothes.

  • In exchange they get access to other people's clothes as well as on-site pay-what-you-can mending, styling experts, knitting circles and other freebies.

What they're saying: "Fast fashion has a profoundly negative impact both on the planet and on the people who make our clothes, who often work in low-paid, unsafe and exploitative conditions," Katherine Bissell Cordova, executive director of Chicago Fair Trade, said in a statement.

  • "With the Clothing Swap (and Knit), we're providing a low-cost and more sustainable alternative to buying brand-new, disposable fast fashion items."

The intrigue: Friday offers an exclusive Preview Night, where swappers get first dibs on clothing, along with drinks, snacks and mingling. Tickets: $35.

  • Saturday and Sunday tickets go for $10.

If you go: Organizers encourage you to register, drop off your stuff in advance and bring your own shopping bags.


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