It’s almost summer and you’re itching to hit the stores and procure some little dresses, new sandals and cute jeans.  Hang on a  minute- with the world in the state it is economically and ecologically, it may behoove you to spruce up your wardrobe in a way that is easier on your bank account and the environment.

The new trend is clothing swap parties.  The host provides snacks/dessert, and the guests are each invited to bring a bottle of wine and a bag of clothes. (You know the one- the bag that’s been sitting in your trunk for 2 weeks, waiting to be dropped off at the Goodwill donation center?)


After the first round and some chitchat, one person acts as the presenter and holds up each article, announcing its brand and size- then whoever fancies it, claims it. This goes on until each item is doled out. Everyone has a great time and leaves with a bag of “new” clothes- without having spent a dime.

Having attended such an event, I can tell you this is a lot of fun. We had women of every size, type and ethnic background present. So it was not only an opportunity to hang out and catch up, but also to try out styles that we may not have normally thought of ourselves wearing.

Now, perhaps you really want to be more ‘green’ in your apparel acquisitions, but the idea of wearing secondhand clothes makes you break out in hives. There is another alternative.

REUSE Jeans was founded by George Powell, who produced jeans for Diesel, 7 For All Mankind, Rock & Republic, American Eagle, etc.  He noticed all the remnant denim being wasted, and an idea was born.  REUSE’s website touts their garments as: “sustainable, attainable and constructed from 80% recycled fabric.”   Prices range from $95- $140 per pair. And if you’re in the Southern California area, they are opening their flagship store in Laguna Beach May 21-22nd.  (Click here for details).

Stop into any thrift store and see the sheer volume of clothes we discard. By digging through those piles for the hidden gems, swapping our cast-offs to our friends (for that sweater of hers we’ve always secretly coveted) or simply making more conscientious purchasing decisions, we can have an impact on the level of textile consumption in this nation that is contributing to pollution and the greater and greater demand for cheap products, which leads to the exploitation of laborers and outsourcing of jobs.

So call your friends and raid the closets or head out PCH and get yourself something sassy.

Whatever your preference- have a green summer!