HOW TO THROW A SWAP PARTY
I didn’t buy anything this "Black Friday", instead I hosted a "Swap Party" for my friends and I. So, we still got lots of «new» clothes, only these were completely free and very sustainable.
It was so cozy and fun, and I sat literally up to my waist in clothes at one point. Which was great for the swappers, but also evindece of how much of a waste problem western society really does have.
The good part is that instead of throwing away all of these faboulus clothes, we swapped them with eachother for other used clothes. The leftovers that won’t be saved for the next "Swap Party" will be donated to someone in need locally.
You could say we did a Sustainable Saturday, instead of a Black Friday.
What is a Swap Party, and why do we need them?
The answer is simple. It's a party where you bring the clothes you don't use anymore, and swap them for clothes other party goers don't use anymore.
We need swap parties because it's better for the environment if we buy less and rather use what we already have.
If you want something new (well, new for you), shopping secondhand, renting, borrowing, or swapping clothes is the most sustainable option. Swapping clothes keeps your wardrobe looking fresh and feels like getting new clothes, but has no extra impact on the environment.
Clothes swapping and "Swap Parties", come from the slow fashion movement and is meant to turn people away from fast fashion and rather shop sustainably and ethically.
Fashion becomes "fast fashion" when clothing, shoes, accessories and so on is made under terrible working conditions, the garment workers are usually underpaid for their labor, it has a production process that pollute a lot, then sells at a low retail price so people can easily discard it after a short period of time only to make room for more new stuff.
Luckily, fast fashion is becoming more and more untrendy, and slow fashion is gaining in popularity.
How to throw a "Swap Party"!
When I did research for my first Swap Party, I found several guides on how to do it. However, those were usually intended for very large scale public ones, and I wanted to do one for my friends in my apartment. So what I came up with, is really just a more laid back version.
First, I invite lots of my friends. Then I buy snacks and something to drink, so the guests stay hydrated and don’t go hungry. Trying on clothes takes energy!
In my invite for the event, I tell people to bring good clothes that they don’t want anymore. Most people usually bring more than they take (at least in my group), so if someone doesn’t have anything to bring it doesn’t matter and they can come anyway. You can also tell people to bring at least one item, to swap for another. The main goal is for all the clothes to find a new home and get a second life.
Then I use hangers and display the coolest pieces, so everyone can see the selection a little better.
After a few hours of people trying on clothes and looking on their own, I go through the clothes and show them one by one for everyone to see.
The clothes that don’t make that final round either, I divide into piles of "keeping for next swap party", donate to charity, and then a special bag for the nice beggar outside my apartment. I make sure to get him the warm and practical stuff that looks gender neutral.
There has luckily always been enough stuff for every size at my "Swap Parties", so that has never been a problem. However, that’s something to be aware of if you don’t have a wide enough or balanced size range in your friends group. Make sure you invite people of all sizes, or just the same sizes, so that everyone can find something cute to take home and won’t feel excluded.
I usually do about two or three "Swap Parties" a year, so everyone can to join at a time that works. There's always a bunch who really wants to come, but can't make it the day you have picked.
Also! This time, we started talking about getting robes that says "SwapParty" on them, so we don’t have to put our clothes back on in between trying on stuff. So, if anyone know where to get ethical robes, let me know!
It’s really important to try and keep the economy as circular as possible, and not just push our overflow of clothes problem over to developing countries. This is because it’s destructive to their environment and economy.
The world now consumes about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year. This is 400% more than the amount we consumed just 20 years ago. 2/3 of the clothes produced each year, end up in landfills within the end of that same year. The average American now generates 82 pounds of textile waste each year. That adds up to more than 11 million tons of textile waste from the U.S. alone.
About 4.7 billion pounds of clothing are donated by Americans each year. Only 10% of the clothes we donate to charity are considered good enough to being resold in the retail store. The rest of that ends up in landfills, some of it is recycled into rags and insulation, and some of it ends up in the markets of Sub-Saharan Africa where it collapses their own clothing industry.
Used clothes from the west shipped to developing countries is a billion dollar industry for the west, and often hurt the local clothing business and keep people in poverty.
Donating to people in need is great, but for things to actually improve western countries need to stop exploiting developing countries for our own gain (Then become frustrated when people from these countries need to come to the west for work and safety do to environmental changes or poverty).
The fast fashion problem affects us all. No matter what side we’re on politically.
Last but not least, a little final insight into how "Swap Parties" and buying secondhand can make a difference.
Research has shown that 1 in 10 people would discard a piece of clothing after it has been pictured on social media three times. Another study of 2000 women, shows that fashion buys were worn only about 7 times.
On average, wearing our clothes for an extra nine months will reduce clothing’s carbon, water and waste footprints by around 20-30%. By the calculations of a 20-30% reduction in carbon, water and waste footprint by wearing something for an extra nine months, means that wearing a piece of clothing for about 8 years and not replacing it with something new, has reduced that same piece of clothing’s footprint by about 150%.
Since so many don't wear all their clothes til it's worn out, imagine what making sure someone else wears it after you (and so on, until the piece of clothing gets to the point where it's actually worn out) could do?
What you do matter, even if it’s just something as "small" as not buying new.
Here's a little sneak peek into what some of the swappers tried on, and what some took home this past weekend.
The last photo of a huge pile of clothes and some shoes, is my pile of "Swap Party treasures"! Can't wait to create so many fun outfits using my "new" clothes.
"Swap Parties" are so much fun, they’re great for the environment, and my friends and I love it! Everyone should try it. They're especially genius for childrens clothes, so give it a go!
Sources: The documentary "The true cost" movie, "Fair Trade: The first step", and the series "Sweatshop", https://www.one.org/us/2014/03/14/what-really-happens-to-your-donated-clothing/, http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/unions-reveal-garment-minimum-wage-goal-2017, http://cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/obama-ups-climate-change-consensus-paris-995-scientists. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3117645/Women-ditch-clothes-ve-worn-just-seven-times-Items-left-shelf-buyer-feels-ve-weight-ve-bought-whim.html
I apologize if the page looks a bit strange or messy right now. Especially the photos on the color analysis posts called "The Rules of Wearing Colors". It's because this whole page is under construction do to some problems that occurred after an update of the layout of this blog.
I can also not post the PURE COOL post util this issue has been taken care of, so I'm sorry if you were waiting for it. That's also why it's still not published right now, as this problem started some weeks ago and just furthered the delay.
I'm fixing each post one by one, so five years worth of posts will take a little while.
The "Body Types" posts should all look normal by now, if you noticed they looked a bit messy these past few weeks.
It will all be back to normal soon though, and hopefully even better on mobile view.
THE STRAIGHT FIGURES
THE TOP HEAVY FIGURES
THE CURVY FIGURES
THE BOTTOM HEAVY FIGURES
(The 12 body shapes and rules are mostly borrowed from Trinny and Susannah's Body Shape Bible. I have made some alterations. Photos in this post are borrowed from Google. Unknown source.)
Remember! Style has no size.
ETHICAL PYJAMAS FROM CUBUS' NEW SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS
I needed some new pyjamas (as my old ones couldn't be saved anymore) and came over this cute little set, that’s part of CUBUS' sustainability effort.
I love that their pants are long enough for my 182cm/almost 6 feet body, which was the reason why I started looking at their pyjama selection in the first place. Also, that I'd heard that Cubus was trying to become nr.1 in sustainable fashion in Scandinavia.
These pyjamas are sustainable, ethical, comfortable, cute, and fit me great. These constellation print pants are elastic so they’re comfortable to wear for my curves. The only thing that would improve them, was if the top also had the same print as the bottom. Other than that last thing, they check all the boxes for me.
They also come with a sleep mask. I don't use mine, so it's a bit wasteful if you're not into that.
Here’s the other pyjamas I got. Also from Cubus and a part of their sustainability effort.
These bottoms aren’t elastic, but they are long enough for me and actually still fit comfortably so I can move freely. I usually only go for elastic pants because of my curvy shape, but these had a wide enough fit and felt pretty much the same as the elastic ones actually. Also, even though I usually prefer the top to match the bottoms, I really like this plaid and grey combo.
In conclusion! I love them both equally and have pretty much lived in them since I got them. I'm especially obsessed with the fact that they are sustainable and ethical, and that's why I have chosen to write about them on my page.
Text on first image: Wohoo! You found me. I'm part of Cubus' sustainability efforts. Let's be awesome together.
Text on second image: You'll love me because: Together we go beyond the fabric. More cotton, less wasted water, fewer chemicals and happier farming communities. We partner with The Better Cotton Initiative to improve cotton farming globally. That's fashion of our time.
My cat Friday, really likes my new sustainable and ethical pyjamas too. A little too much perhaps?
To sum it up, it’s sustainable, ethical, comfortable, cute, cozy, and fit me great. None of them shrink when washed either, which is important.
This is not an add, I paid for these!
HAPPY GREEN HALLOWEEN
Did you know that Halloween costumes account for 12 million tons of landfill waste, every year?
That is why, this year I decided to do the #HallowGreenChallenge.
Halloween is just one of the many holidays that has been turned into a shopping opportunity, by this disposable society we live in. Luckily, there are many steps you can take towards being more sustainable, without missing out on the fun. You can reuse, rent, or borrow costumes. You can also make your costumes out of clothes you don't use anymore, or anything you find at home, really.
I usually create my costumes using stuff I already have in my closet. When I come up with costume ideas, I start by looking through what I already have, and try to pick a character that doesn't take too much resources to pull off.
If you look at the "Halloween Costume inspo" post I share every year, you will find that most of the costumes are put together from clothes already found in people’s closets (Some are rented, or bought new for the occasion, though).
This year I didn't have the opportunity to go all in on my Halloween costume, but I still wanted to do the #HallowGreenChallenge. So, I just reused my "I need to dress up for Halloween at work" costume. It's obviously a black cat costume, but after seeing the mini-photoshoot we did, I realise it looks more like a "crazy cat lady" costume.
Below, I've listed some of my costumes from previous years that are all at least 90% put together from stuff I already had in my closet. If you just plan ahead a little, it's not that hard to keep halloween green. No pun intended!
The #HallowGreenChallenge, was started by the brand Mont Pellier, @mpellierfashion. To see more, you can go to their Instagram page, https://www.instagram.com/mpellierfashion/
HAVE A HAPPY AND SCARY HALLOWEEN,
ALL HALLOWS EVE and DIA DE LOS MUERTOS.
(The photos in this post are my own, and taken at the Halloween parties I've been to for the past few years.)
TRICK OR TREAT
I love costumes, I played dress-up almost every day growing up. In fact, at one point I worked as a costume assistant on a film (it was excellent).
For me Halloween is a day to dress the way i'd actually prefer to dress all year, but can't. Not all great outfits are compatible with the seasons, workplace, comfortable, and so on. Even though I don't want to admit it, some things are just too much for everyday life. I guess we can't all have the bravery of the "colorful people". (Yes, I am talking to you, girl in high school with rainbow hair, that wore a pixy dress with wings and everything to school, every day. Respect sister!)
Maybe some "looks" are best left to the special occasions.
However, I do feel we should give in to our inner child and play as often as we can. Halloween, Christmas, New Years Eve, birthdays, we should throw more "come as your inner self " parties.
Luckily, I do get to play sometimes. I have been so fortunate to have such fun and confident friends, that really know how to "leave their pride at home" and wear something silly in public. Being weird together is truly some of the bonding moments in life.
(To me) The best costume tip is to go for a character that looks a bit like you, and just properly go to town on that costume. I definitely think it's more gratifying when that character can be me, instead of me being that character. Use Halloween as an opportunity to try on different personas.
My favourite Halloween costumes of all times have been characters I identify with, such as Lara Croft (my nickname all through high school), Wednesday Addams, Agent Romanoff a.k.a The Black Widow, and Leela from Futurama. I just love edgy, strong women, so I always feel like dressing up as a badass when I can.
Hurray for official theme party days. Now, please enjoy some awesome costumes.
Wear black eye-contacts, if you don't have black hair use black hairspray (spray on after the hair is braided, finish with regular hairspray to seal in the color), make your face "naturally" pale with white foundation. Don't forget black nail-polish, black tiny earrings, a black doll-style dress with long sleeves, a white shirt with a stiff collar, black pantyhose, black doll-shoes, one headless doll in a matching outfit, and an attitude that says, "die...".
LEELA FROM FUTURAMA
A class-A nerd catching costume, and one of my personal Sci-Fi favorites. First of all, you need to spray paint or dye your hair purple, or get a purple wig. Make sure it's the right kind of purple, Leela's hair is kind of a warm violet. Put your hair up into a high pony tail and create a "peek a boo" bangs look on one side of your face. Make your own, or buy a cyclops eye-mask. I made mine out of a white anti slip tablecloth, which is perfect for the task because the wholes are big enough to see through, but small enough to hide your eyes behind. Draw an eye large enough to cover both your eyes and add five or six lashes, with a water resistant, magic marker. When finished, and add an elastic band to hold the mask in place. For the tech-bracelet, use a silver look, hard paper. Draw the buttons and screen on, and connect the back and front side with duck-tape. Attach the part facing outwards from the inside, to hide the duck-tape at least on the most visible side.
Wear a white (scooped neckline) tank top, black pants and dark grey boots. I used black, shiny Dr.Martens, which worked just as well. Wear a pink lipstick for those Leela pouty-lips, and remember to exude girl power.
SULU FROM STAR TREK
If you don't buy your costumes, you can create your own by wearing a yellow V-neck sweater with a black round neck sweater underneath. Attach a Star Trek logo to the chest, wear black pants, and try to look as asian as possible. NB! Easier for some than others... You might want to go with an other Star Trek charachter if you don't have the right look.
Wear a red tube top and attach gold details, made from gold-colored cardboard paper. Two matching broad gold bracelets, one gold colored yarn as a lasso. If you're not the type to show your underpants in public, you can go for dark blue jeans and attach white or silver stars to it. Now, kick ass.
PS! You are officially most boys wet dream.
You need one beige-green-brown t-shirt (or a black tank top), black suspenders, black bicycle shorts, one elastic black belt, a pair of black boots. I made the gun holsters out of shiny black PVC fabric and elastic band. Pout your lips, smize with your eyes, and act all tough.
This costume will definitely win you a "Geek Charming" for the evening.
THE BLACK WIDOW
You need a top to bottom black or navy blue outfit. If you don't have a cat suit lying around, it's still an easy DIY. Go for slim fitted pants and a fitted jacket that zips up, either in leather like mine or a solid jersey material. Also, you can't be Agent Romanoff without one or two Agents og S.H.I.E.L.D logos on the upper arms and red hair. I found a logo online, printed it on paper, and used double sided tape to connect it to the jacket. If you don't have red hair and don't want to dye it, use a wig, a temporary color spray, or a color refresher that washes out to at least get a red shine to you original hair color (If you're a blonde, almost all color products will leave some discoloration, so wig is the only safe way to not ruin your blonde hair color. To complete the look, you need high boots in a matching color, black cut-off gloves, one or two black (elastic) belts, and then I made the gun holsters out of shiny black PVC fabric and elastic band. To perfect the look, you should have two bullet bracelets around your wrists. Act secretive, smooth, and be tough and fearless.
This costume is another one for the "geek magnet" list.
BATMAN AND ROBIN
This is obviously a great couples costume for men. But, if you can't buy a finished costume like my friends here in the photo, then you could always make your own.
Batman: Wear a black turtleneck, black pants, black boots, black long cape, and attach the Batman logo to your top. The logo can be drawn on fabric, or printed out and glued on. For the Batman hood I would recommend buying one, or if your up for the task, sew one.
Robin: Wear a green long-sleeved top and leggings, and put a red sleeveless top and red briefs on top of that. Wear black boots and a long black or yellow cape, and a black or yellow belt in the waist. Attach the Robin logo to your top. The logo can be drawn on fabric, or printed out and glued on. For the Robin mask you can either buy a standard black mask, or easily cut one out from black fabric.
Act all sexy and brave.
Wear a blue long-sleeved top with a Super (man/girl) logo on it, a red short skater skirt, a red knee-length cape, a V-shaped gold belt, and red over-knee boots. Wear natural makeup and have blond to blondette hair. I you can't buy a finished costume, then just print out the logo and attach to basic blue top. Red over-knee boots can also be made out of red PVC fabric or something else similar to a leather look.
Finish the look by swooping in and helping out with heavy stuff, such as opening stuck lids on jars. You'er after all, the strongest girl alive.
You need bright red hair (hair chalk, dip dye or a wig), wear a green dress or jumpsuit/outfit (something green that covers the needed to be covered parts), use fake leaves and flowers to decorate your hair and body. Paint on or attach something green or red to your eyebrows. Remember: You hate anything that's not a plant.
The good woodland fairy gone bad. Evil has never looked better, and she is the ultimate anti-hero. You need to paper mache/duck tape tinfoil horns on a headband, on top of a black head cap. Create a stiff and bold collar out of hard paper, and attach to a preferably long black dress with long sleeves, or go for a cape option as in the image below. Do sharp eyebrows and black winged eyeliner, red lipstick and counture your cheek bones til they look as if they could cut something. Walk around with a long black staff and look thirsty for revenge.
Half fish half human, you're the hottest gene mutation pollution has created....
So try to find a mermaid shaped sequin-skirt, cut and shape mermaid tail-fins from a black plastic bag, wear a tube top in a shiny or sequin fabric, use thick black wet-liner over your eyes, and wear one black contact lens. To complete the wet-look use body glitter on your face and body, and put lots of hair-gel in your hair while it's still wet.
The most important thing is a crown, then a nicely fitted uniform jacket with visible shoulder-pads, get a matching colored waistband and a gold sash (or another royal color). Pair it with dark or light pants. To top it of, wear blush and a little mascara (remember, you're fictional). Be dreamy.
Simple and a classic. You need a white and red striped sweater, and a matching hat/beanie, blue pants
(black shorts also work), round glasses with a black frame. Prepare to be "found", all night.
POP ART COSTUME
Wear a wig or spray paint your hair to get a more synthetic look, then paint your face and body with lots of white dots, and make an outline of your facial and body features. Finish the look with bright colored eye shadow, nail polish, lips, and fake eye lashes. Wear a dress or an outfit with a graphic style print, or if you don't have that a solid color will also do nicely. Be dramatic!
THE COOKIE MONSTER
Paint your face blue, wear a blue one-piece with a hood, attach big eyes to the hood, and bring some cookies.
Say "COOKIE" a lot!
This one is such an easy DIY if you already have a black and white striped top. Make a little white hat and paint matching black stripes on it. Then, make your own portable card board prison. Just cut out bars and paint it grey. Finish the look by attaching a symbolically scary inmate number to your chest, and paint some dirt on your face. Act shady.
You need a white dress, a vail, covering white foundation, smudge the eye-makeup, put some fake blood in there to increase the horror. Finish with a bouquet of flowers. Be really bossy, stressed out and perfectionistic.
A Heidi type dress... Actually with this costume you can be anything, really. Just add a gross amount of blood somewhere disturbing. Maybe bring a weapon to add that little extra.
If you don't already own a Power rangers suit, like these two guys, or want to buy one - you can always make your own. All you need is a colored long-sleeved top on top of a white turtleneck, same colored leggings, white belt, gloves and boots, and then you can sew a hood from colored elastic fabric. Just add some black mesh material where the eyes are, and you can see with the hood on as well. The Power Rangers come in red, blue, black, yellow, pink or green, so it could also be a cool group thing.
Also this one, is easy to DIY. All you need is a red long-sleeved top, red leggings, black panties, yellow belt, black long gloves, and long black socks. Then you just paint the black mask directly on to your face. You can add a wig, if you don't happen to have the right hair color or cut. This is such a cool group thing.
FRUIT OR ANIMAL SUITS
These costumes need no introduction and are great classics.
If you don't want to buy one, it is possible to make one out of a one-piece in the correct color or color combination.
A strawberry can be made with a red one-piece, paint black spots on it, ad a green spiky-cut collar and put a strawberry or leaf hat on your head. The banana, with a yellow one peace and a yellow hat with a black tip. For the carrot, make an orange "dress" and sew it in a carrot shape between the legs, leave holes for the legs. Wear black leggings and a green wig for the frizzy top. For the lion, make your hair as full as possible and put on some lion ears, wear a golden brown one-piece and a faux fur collar and paint your face lion style. The same method applies to the bunny, only with bunny ears a pink nose and whiskers.Funny is the new sexy.
This one is such an easy DIY if you already look a little bit like Adele. Wear a black, long sleeved, retro style, glittering dress with a flared skirt, and style your hair in an half up-do with a lot of volume on top. Then, do a bold winged eyeliner, full lips, and add thick fake lashes. Finish the look by walking around bare feet, holding a microphone. If you don't have access to a microphone, make your own from cardboard. Talk with a broad British accent, have a naughty sense of humor, and say "Hello!" to everyone you meet.
Costumes aren't only great on Halloween, and this dress-up party is something that has become somewhat of a tradition in my group. The best part is how different people act when in costume. I have to say that the 50's/60's clothing make people very well mannered and pleasant. Love it!
Or, you can just have a fabulous masquerade party. We had one on New Years Eve for the last two years. You can dress how you like, and the masks create an exiting vibe for the evening.
It's even cooler in big gatherings, 1600's style.
HAVE A HAPPY AND SCARY
HALLOWEEN, ALL HALLOWS EVE and DIA DE LOS MUERTOS.
(The "models" in this post are friends and myself. The photos are taken at some of our Halloween parties.
Some costumes are tore bought, some are home made, but most are home-styled, DIY style.)
IDEALIST STYLE ON PINTEREST
IDEALIST STYLE OUTFITS
ALL THE BODY TYPE, COLOR ANALYSIS,
OR ETHICAL FASHION OUTFITS. ORGANIZED BY COLOR.
GO TO PAGE TO SEE MORE
TO KNOW YOUR STYLE.
I've come to know myself, my style, and what I actually wear. So, I know that I should usually invest in black basics. Scratch that..., black everything! Once I have one of everything in black, I can start to think about colors and prints. Black is my favorite color (Even though it's not really a color. In physics, black is rather a perfect absorber of light), and this is my favorite skirt. I've used it far beyond the #30wears mark, as it’s my most used skirt. The shape and length is perfect for my skittle body type, and the color and texture is so me.
The bikini top is also a favorite of mine, as I love that it feels a little sci-if with the scuba material and the mesh. It definitely gets heavily used in the summer when it's too hot to wear more clothes, but I still feel like keeping the look clean.
The fact that I still use this outfit as much now as I did years ago when it was new, is how I know that I made a good clothing investment. The best part is, that they both look as good as new. I love good quality clothing.
If you’re wondering how you can figure out what’s really your style and what’s not.
Imagine you’re going shopping in your closet. What items would you not buy now?
The second test is to imagine you have to leave for a very long time and can only bring (lets say) two large suitcases. Most people only use 1/3 of their wardrobes, so what third of your clothes would you actually pack as your essentials?
The first test shows what clothes you should stop buying, the second test show what clothes you should invest in.
Buy the essential clothes in great quality so they last, and just stop buying the non essentials. Or you can rather borrow, buy used, or rent them. Maybe even share them with someone? That way they still get the usage they should have for it to be sustainable for you to buy them.
Your essentials are pieces that gets uses at least 30 times, and usually a lot more. #rewearyourclothes
Know yourself, to know your style.
The dark and artsy photos of this outfit, was taken by the amazingly talented photographer Camilla Stovollen.
To see more of her work, go to www.camillastorvollen.no
Since these artsy photos are a bit dark, I added a photo of me in bright sunlight wearing the same outfit. These photos are shot some time apart. The first ones in the end of summer (not this summer obviously) and the last one in the beginning of this summer. So, that's why my skin and hair is a bit different.
ETHICAL AND PERSONALIZED STYLE, FOR A "GOOD FOR YOU" WARDROBE.
Idealist style is a website and "slow blog" dedicated to ethical fashion and personalized style, including tips on how to find your very own "slow fashion" style by using color analysis, the body types system, and other slow fashion tips.»