Clothes Swaps are a great way to refresh your wardrobe without buying new. In our opinion, swapping beats shopping any day – and here’s why.
Cause we love ’em so much, we’ve been running Clothes Swaps regularly in Manchester for EIGHT WHOLE YEARS!
Here’s how our swaps work;
- Bring along up to 10 garments (men’s, women’s or children’s clothes).
- Pay on entry and collect your swap card, if you don’t already have one.
- For each item of clothing you bring, you’ll get a stamp on your swap card. We grade clothes into two categories on arrival; GREAT and GOOD. You swap like for like, so a Great item gets you another Great item, or you can ‘swap down’ for a Good item.
- Browse the rails and find some clothes you love – try them on if you like!
- Check out at the reception desk to get your swap card updated.
- If you have spare stamps at the end, you can bring them along to the next swap.
If you’ve never been to one of our swaps before and want to know what you’re letting yourself in for, have a peek at these Frequently Asked Questions…
Q: Can I bring more than 10 items?
A: we have a 10 item limit in order to reduce queueing time at check-in. So the maximum you can check-in is 10 items. You are welcome to bring extra clothes, but these will just be added straight to the swap, without being counted at check-in and won’t be added as stamps on your swap card.
Q: What if I bring 10 things and only find 3 that I like?
A: When you check in, you’ll be given a swap card with a stamp for each item you’ve brought. When you’ve finished swapping, go to the check-out area and we’ll tick off how many items you take home. If you have stamps left over, these carry over to the next swap.
Q: What if I have stamps left on my swap card, but don’t have any clothes to bring?
A: You’re welcome to come to the swap and exchange your stamps for clothes. However, you’ll still need to buy a ticket for the event.
Q: When do the clothes need to be handed in?
A: Clothes are checked in when you arrive – so just turn up whenever you like and bring your clothes. You will have your items counted and categorised while you wait, then you can head straight in and start swapping! 🙂
Q: Can you bring male, female and children’s clothing?
A: Yes you can! Our swaps are open to all ages and genders. If you are bringing and taking home *only* menswear or kidswear, entry is free.
Q: Can you bring maternity clothes?
A: Yes you can, although we don’t currently get much in, so if you were wanting to swap maternity for maternity there might not be the biggest choice.
Q: Can you bring vintage clothes?
A: Yes you can – vintage and designer clothes go into our ‘Great’ category. High street clothes and everything else goes into the ‘Good’ category. Only Great stamps can be swapped for Great clothes.
Q: Can you bring accessories?
A: Yes, accessories like bags, hats and pairs of shoes can all be brought along. A bag or a pair of shoes would count as one item.
Q: What happens to all the clothes left over at the end?
A: We keep back a small selection of clothing as stock for the next event. Everything else gets sorted and donated to our partners Refugee Aid Chorlton. Anything unsuitable for them goes to our local charity shops. Some items that are past wearing get upcycled in our workshops.
Q: Do you have details of what’s considered Good and Great?
A: Our Great category is for designer, vintage and high-end high street brands. Good is for your more bog-standard high street brands. We are currently working on a more definitive list which we’ll share here very soon!
Q: Do you have many plus sized clothes? I am size 16 to 18 but I’ve been to clothes swaps before and found mostly size 8 and 10.
A: We agree that this is an issue. We are working on increasing our range of clothing from size 16-24 – we currently buy in extra stock in these sizes from Refugee Aid Chorlton. As well as making our swaps better, this generates funds for a great cause.
Q: Do you have wheelchair access?
A: Yes! Our venue (St. Nininan’s Church) is fully wheelchair accessible with an accessible toilet.
Q: Do you sell refreshments?
A: By popular request, we will be serving tea, coffee and cakes at our upcoming events. At the moment, we’re only able to take cash payments. All proceeds from the sale of refreshments will be donated to Labour Behind the Label.
Q: Is there somewhere to try clothes on?
A: Yes, we have a small room with mirrors and a screen where you can try things on. If you’d prefer more privacy, you are welcome to try clothes on in the bathroom.
Q: If I don’t find any clothes that I like, can I take my own clothes back again?
A: When you check in, we’ll take the clothes you’ve brought and add them to the rails. If you want to take back something that you’ve brought with you, you are welcome to do that – if you can find it!
Q: Do I have to buy a ticket in advance?
A: No, buying an advance ticket is optional. You can buy tickets on the door for the same price (£5 or free for kidswear/menswear swappers). Please note that on-the-door tickets are cash only.
We sell 40 advance tickets – as an advance ticket holder, you get first entry and can check-in from 1pm. If you’re buying a ticket on the door, you won’t be able to check-in until 1:30pm or until all advance ticket holders have been checked in.
Q: What is the latest I can arrive?
A: Last check-in is 3:30pm. The event closes promptly at 4pm.
Q: Do you offer any discounted tickets?
A: We currently offer free entry to swappers of *only* menswear or kidswear, as our range for both is more limited. We also offer a free ticket to volunteers in exchange for three hours helping out at the event. If you’re interested in joining our volunteer team, get in touch!
Do you have anther question that hasn’t been answered above? Great, we’re collecting them! Pop us an email and we’ll add it in.
We look forward to seeing you amongst the swap rails soon!
Stitched Up x