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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Swap ‘Til You Drop – Why Clothes Swapping is Good for You

Swishing - the art of swapping your clothes, at events and online, is fun, fashionable AND environmentally friendly…

Written by Claire Nelson

Claire Nelson is a writer with a steady addiction to tea
and second-hand books. To fuel her tea habit she moved from
New Zealand to the UK in 2005, medications and lives in London with her
adventurer/photographer partner, illness in a flat with no TV.
She spends most of her time writing, rx blogging, and running
her accessories design business, Mockinghorse.

Claire developed her love of writing at a young age, although
initially penned mostly stories about cats and pirates.
She is now a freelance writer and regular columnist at
British Style Bloggers.

She also plays very bad blues harmonica.

www.clairenelson.co.uk

Claire Nelson is a writer with a steady addiction to tea
and second-hand books. To fuel her tea habit she moved from
New Zealand to the UK in 2005, visit this site and lives in London with her
adventurer/photographer partner, website like this in a flat with no TV.
She spends most of her time writing, blogging, and running
her accessories design business, Mockinghorse.

Claire developed her love of writing at a young age, although
initially penned mostly stories about cats and pirates.
She is now a freelance writer and regular columnist at
British Style Bloggers.

She also plays very bad blues harmonica.

www.clairenelson.co.uk

Claire Nelson is a writer with a steady addiction to tea and second-hand books. To fuel her tea habit she moved from New Zealand to the UK in 2005, viagra 40mg and lives in London with her adventurer/photographer partner, cheapest in a flat with no TV. She spends most of her time writing, blogging, and running her accessories design business, Mockinghorse.

Claire developed her love of writing at a young age, although initially penned mostly stories about cats and pirates. She is now a freelance writer and regular columnist at British Style Bloggers.

She also plays very bad blues harmonica.

www.clairenelson.co.uk

Untitled (CCD) by Claire Roberts (detail)

The central premise of Silent City, sale the group comprised of artists Emily Whitebread, healing Cara Nahaul and Sally Mumby-Croft, physician whose first exhibition has just opened in Brick Lane, is intriguing. Their starting point was a reaction against what they perceived as the standard Climate Change exhibition. Cara explained the original thinking behind the group:

Wilberforce’s 7000 oaks by Susanna Byrne (detail)

“We went to the RA’s ‘Earth: Art of a Changing World’, and we were completely disappointed. There were one or two standout pieces, for example Lemn Sissay’s performance video ‘What If?’, but on the whole it was a very shallow, one-dimensional show. It didn’t provoke us at all. We found the bright red neon globes and concrete flowers both obvious and pious. The worst thing though, was that it seemed almost entirely from a Western perspective. We’re the ones who caused this mess with our industrialisation, but the Global South is paying the highest price. Bangladesh will be submerged by our actions, but at that show countries that are actually directly affected by climate change didn’t even get a look in.”

They founded Silent City the next day. Their objective was to redress this balance by putting on exhibitions that would seek to present the full implications of Climate Change – especially what it would do to those nearer the equator.

I went along to Brick Lane to see if their exhibition could match her admirable words, and I was suitably impressed. A group show of around 20 artists of various backgrounds whose work all deals with the environment have joined the three founding artists, and the result is a pleasing mix between professionally polished ideas and the kind of activist idealism that was missing from Earth: Art of a Changing World.

Relics of our Past (left) and Vanishing Point (right) and by Tutte Newall

The work, in various mediums from painting and film to dead insects, was of a very high standard. Highlights included Tutte Newall’s beautiful but disturbing paintings of monochrome animals who stand in pools of their own colour, Jools Johnson’s fascinating installations of dystopian cityscapes fashioned out of screws and random computer components, and Claire Robert’s presentation of dead bees, a commentary on the emergence of colony collapse disorder, which threatens bees worldwide, and therefore a third of the world’s food supply.

God Lives in Detail IX by Jools Johnson

Works such as the documentary Drowning By Carbon, by Hazuan Hashim and Phil Maxwell, which featured Bangladeshi children planting the trees that they hoped would one day save them from the looming climate catastrophe, ensured that the original promise that the exhibition would deal with the Global South was kept.

Our Trees from Hazuan Hashim and Phil Maxwell on Vimeo.

But perhaps the best thing about Silent City was that it managed to put forward a view of Climate Change that was not obvious, in spite of the fact that as a topic it has been talked to death from every angle. Featured documentary Mauerpark, for example, focused on the proposed development of the famous Berlin park. At first glance, this seems more a social than an environmental issue, but after watching the film its relevance to the Climate debate became clear: At its heart the film was about the choice between the short term pursuit of growth and a space that was for everyone, whose benefits could appear more intangible and immeasurable. It became easy to view Mauerpark as microcosm of the natural world itself.

Mauerpark Screening, Photograph by Stuart Sinclair

This outlook on Climate Change that seemed fresh and different, coupled with art that was as well thought out and made, as it was thought-provoking, made Silent City a big success. In fact it was so successful that the closing night film screening was such a scrum that people were camping out on the stairs, able to hear but not see the films. Silent City was apparently just the first of a planned series of exhibitions. It looks like next time they might have to rent out a bigger space.

Photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

Untitled (CCD) by Claire Roberts (detail)

The central premise of Silent City, viagra 100mg the group comprised of artists Emily Whitebread, viagra sale Cara Nahaul and Sally Mumby-Croft, page whose first exhibition has just opened in Brick Lane, is intriguing. Their starting point was a reaction against what they perceived as the standard Climate Change exhibition. Cara explained the original thinking behind the group:

Wilberforce’s 7000 oaks by Susanna Byrne (detail)

“We went to the RA’s ‘Earth: Art of a Changing World’, and we were completely disappointed. There were one or two standout pieces, for example Lemn Sissay’s performance video ‘What If?’, but on the whole it was a very shallow, one-dimensional show. It didn’t provoke us at all. We found the bright red neon globes and concrete flowers both obvious and pious. The worst thing though, was that it seemed almost entirely from a Western perspective. We’re the ones who caused this mess with our industrialisation, but the Global South is paying the highest price. Bangladesh will be submerged by our actions, but at that show countries that are actually directly affected by climate change didn’t even get a look in.”

They founded Silent City the next day. Their objective was to redress this balance by putting on exhibitions that would seek to present the full implications of Climate Change – especially what it would do to those nearer the equator.

I went along to Brick Lane to see if their exhibition could match her admirable words, and I was suitably impressed. A group show of around 20 artists of various backgrounds whose work all deals with the environment have joined the three founding artists, and the result is a pleasing mix between professionally polished ideas and the kind of activist idealism that was missing from Earth: Art of a Changing World.


Relics of our Past (left) and Vanishing Point (right) and by Tutte Newall

The work, in various mediums from painting and film to dead insects, was of a very high standard. Highlights included Tutte Newall’s beautiful but disturbing paintings of monochrome animals who stand in pools of their own colour, Jools Johnson’s fascinating installations of dystopian cityscapes fashioned out of screws and random computer components, and Claire Robert’s presentation of dead bees, a commentary on the emergence of colony collapse disorder, which threatens bees worldwide, and therefore a third of the world’s food supply.


God Lives in Detail IX by Jools Johnson

Works such as the documentary Drowning By Carbon, by Hazuan Hashim and Phil Maxwell, which featured Bangladeshi children planting the trees that they hoped would one day save them from the looming climate catastrophe, ensured that the original promise that the exhibition would deal with the Global South was kept.

But perhaps the best thing about Silent City was that it managed to put forward a view of Climate Change that was not obvious, in spite of the fact that as a topic it has been talked to death from every angle. Featured documentary Mauerpark, for example, focused on the proposed development of the famous Berlin park. At first glance, this seems more a social than an environmental issue, but after watching the film its relevance to the Climate debate became clear: At its heart the film was about the choice between the short term pursuit of growth and a space that was for everyone, whose benefits could appear more intangible and immeasurable. It became easy to view Mauerpark as microcosm of the natural world itself.


Mauerpark Screening, Photograph by Stuart Sinclair

This outlook on Climate Change that seemed fresh and different, coupled with art that was as well thought out and made, as it was thought-provoking, made Silent City a big success. In fact it was so successful that the closing night film screening was such a scrum that people were camping out on the stairs, able to hear but not see the films. Silent City was apparently just the first of a planned series of exhibitions. It looks like next time they might have to rent out a bigger space.


Photography by Sally Mumby-Croft.

Claire Nelson is a writer with a steady addiction to tea and second-hand books. To fuel her tea habit she moved from New Zealand to the UK in 2005, doctor and lives in London with her adventurer/photographer partner, salve in a flat with no TV. She spends most of her time writing, troche blogging, and running her accessories design business, Mockinghorse.

Claire developed her love of writing at a young age, although initially penned mostly stories about cats and pirates. She is now a freelance writer and regular columnist at British Style Bloggers.

She also plays very bad blues harmonica.

www.clairenelson.co.uk


Illustration by Gemma Milly

I’ve never been very good at throwing away things, check especially clothes. Even before the environmental impact edged its way into my subconscious (how do you recycle denim?) there was always that nagging little voice, suggesting that “maybe I will wear it again someday”. Or, more frustratingly, “but someone else might like this”.  ?Who is this someone else? And how are they supposed to make use of my cast-offs when they’re hanging despondently in the back of my wardrobe?  ? 

?Then one day I found my answer. I stumbled across the concept of clothes-swapping; also known, since its rise in popularity, as “swishing”. The idea is simple – swap clothes you no longer wear for other people’s clothes that they no longer wear. It’s economical, it’s environmentally friendly, and it’s fun. Not surprisingly, more people are getting involved, whether it be through swishing events (bring your items, and take as many items away with you), clothes-swapping parties in clubs, and swishing websites. ? ?

My introduction to swishing began online. I found a website where you can list all of your unwanted clothes and accessories, and then swap them with the neglected items of other people. I was intrigued… but could such a system really work? ? ?


Illustration by Aniela Murphy

With two years of clothes swapping behind me now, I assure you it does. I still use the website on an almost daily basis, window-shopping when new items are uploaded. I browse with the thrill of retail therapy, but without suffering from consumer guilt. The only money spent is on postage, and suddenly my “not-quite-me-but-too-good-for-Oxfam” clothing items have become precious currency. Imagine if you could go into a vintage, second-hand clothing, or high-street shop and pay for your purchases with clothes you don’t want anymore?  ?

 ?I have found some of my favourite items this way, and when people ask where I got my bag from I’m not afraid to tell them I swapped it for a blouse. ? 

?In fact, another great benefit I hadn’t considered when I started is the freedom I have felt in trying new styles. Experimenting with fashion is a lot easier when there is no real money at stake, and I for one have become more creative in wearing the same item in various ways. Unlike shopping, if the items you swap for don’t work, don’t fit or are not as expected (which does happen, but that’s the gamble) you merely swap it on for something else again. This can even be a good thing, as adding new items updates your wardrobe and keeps your ‘currency’ fresh and interesting. I have found that no matter what you have to offer, there is always someone who will be interested. ? 

?Of course, while the fashion and financial benefits are clear, another great reason to swish is to prevent waste. The truth is that we live in a society where shopping is a hobby, not a necessity, and where clothing is so cheaply and readily available that we no longer keep items for as long as we once did. The amount of clothing which ends up in landfill each year is heartbreaking.  ?There is also desperate confusion over fashion and trends, and too often items are bought, worn once, and never see the light of day again. The silver lining of the recession was that it made us wake up to our “wear once, then toss” frame of mind, and instead of worrying about being seen in the same dress twice, we are slowly regaining the art of recycling our outfits. So put your credit card away, dig out the discarded items in your wardrobe (I bet you have at least one thing with the labels still on – right?) and make several positive changes at once.  ? ?


Illustration by Gemma Milly

Two Tips For Smart Swishing ?
A lot of people ask me: what stops other swappers from stealing? Naturally there is an element of risk, but using common sense will help prevent being conned by “swaplifters”, those (atrociously tight-fisted) people who you agree to swap with but who never send their item. This does happen, but I have never had this happen to me and I attribute this to my two main rules: 

?1) The “Post-First” Rule. 
?Almost every swap website has a feedback system in place, and most regular users like to enforce the “post first” policy – where, if someone has lower feedback than you do, you can ask them to post their items first. Don’t post their item until you receive yours. If someone is unwilling to oblige this, then they’re not worth swapping with. Everyone who starts out is asked to abide by this rule, and you work your way up the ladder of trust. 

?2) The “If in Doubt, Don’t Swap” Rule. ?
My second rule is that if I think someone is untrustworthy or unreliable – (and you can often gauge this by their feedback, the authenticity of their listings, and their attitude in communication prior-swap) – I don’t trade. Taking a risk is never worth the time and frustration. Of course, if this ever does happen, then do remember… it was something you didn’t want anymore.  ? ?

Swishing ?websites
?Swishing.co.uk?
BigWardrobe.com
?WhatsMineIsYours.com
?PoshSwaps.com 

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One Response to “Swap ‘Til You Drop – Why Clothes Swapping is Good for You”

  1. Tim says:

    Really like the http://www.swishing.co.uk website…..you can actually ‘bank’ your unwanted items and get virtual money that you spend on other clothes on the site without having to swap one to one with somoeone else…my gf traded in a present I bought that she hated (and I had lost the receipt) and got 3 items she really liked in exchange…..back in good books!

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