Last week we tried something quite daring in our town by holding its first Swish on the High Street.
Swishing is the easy way to update your wardrobe! It`s guilt free shopping with no cost to your wallet and great for the environment. Swishing works like a giant clothes swap: you bring items you no longer wear and exchange them for something new-to-you! No money changes hands, clothes get reused, diverted from landfill and it really brings people together.
In a nutshell .. Free clothes on the High Street.
We were unsure how this was going to work with people and their reactions and especially those new to Swish and then we have the traders in Town who work hard and the last thing we would like to do it take trade from them.
As with all our Swishes, we arrive a few hours early with a team made up of staff and volunteers and we spend the next 3 hours hanging hundreds and hundreds of items of clothing on rails. If we are fast enough we manage tea before we open it up to the public to join in with the event. The rails were bulging and we even brought in extra tables to lay out childrens wear and the accessories like shoes and boots.
The time arrived and 1 oclock we opened up, People were waiting and many were taken by surprise that this could be done. We weight in the clothes as they arrive and get donated to Swish and we had just over 400kg at this even. To encourage people to join in and bring clothes to swop we held a raffle with tickets being given for each bag that was donated and the prizes coming from local independent traders in the town ( we really did want them to benefit from this and getting people in their shops we thought would be the best way.)
Many stumbled upon the event by accident, gave great feedback and joined in. Others knew exactly what goes on and really get into the spirit of things. One lady brought 83kg of clothing and was such a fantastic help while others brought nothing as they didn’t realise but all were treated the same and everyone went away happy.
Some of the best feedback was surprisingly from the local traders with shouts of a fantastic trade for them, can we do these monthly and please do more. Some had lots of new customers who didn’t even know they were there and others simply loved the atmosphere that we created and made `a great days for shopping` in Bodmin.
We will be doing this again as we do hold Swishes monthly around various venues in Cornwall. Our Facebook page gives details of these and our other events we have going on.
I personally think that the best thing about the day was our Volunteers as they worked so hard in a very busy environment and always with a smile. Some were new to swish and really got the hang of it and I hope will go on to become great members of the team.
As for the High Street; we think it needs to change and it is by being daring and trying new approaches that can bring that change. We do not have to wait for permission to do these things and we are the ones that can make that change. If you have ideas that you are unsure of then get in contact and see if we can help.
This isn’t our first event on the High Street or in this Town, we have many more planned in the future that will include eco markets, youth markets and a few other surprises so watch this space.
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