Perennial’s Community Clothing Swap is an amazing way to build a new wardrobe with the earth in mind! Bring clothes you no longer want (but are still in fine shape) and take home new-to-you items from the swap.
Read on for all the details and answers to frequently asked questions, or
Fast fashion puts enormous strain on our resources, releases microplastics into the environment, and encourages unsafe labor practices. Swaps have always been an economical way to trade clothes to update sizes and styles without buying new.
Perennial community clothing swaps scale the concept to a whole new level! With help from a crew of volunteers, each swap serves more than 100 people and diverts more than 1,000 pounds from the landfill.
Exciting news! Swaps are growing! We’ve heard your feedback that the Perennial workshop was getting tight and tickets were hard to get. We are thrilled to be expanding and hosting our August Swap at the Quaker Meeting House at 1001 Park Avenue St. Louis, MO 63104. (only 6 minutes from Perennial!). We’ll have more than double the space to spread out and this will make it possible to invite more folks, accept more donations, and make a bigger impact.
Perennial hosts 4 swaps each year. The next swap will be February 24th.
Anyone is welcome at a Perennial swap! A majority of donations we receive are traditionally made for women, but we know the clothing industry isn’t the authority on sizes or labels. We do not accept kids clothing, but often teens can still find clothes they like.
Interested in sponsoring the swaps?
With the expanded structure, we need more resources to keep swaps happening! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for details on sponsoring one swap or the whole season!
How exactly does it work?
We will be accepting clothing donations prior to the swap (see dates and details on the ticket page) so volunteers can pre-sort all items. No clothing donations will be accepted the day of the swap. You can donate clothes in good condition even if you are not planning to attend to ensure we have a wide selection. We are always looking for more donations size large and up as the fashion industry offers less variety in larger sizes and are not as widely available as small + medium. Volunteers will sort the clothes by item in advance, and swappers will be able to browse and select clothes just like at a store. The great news is, unlike a store, you won’t pay by item for things you take home. Instead, we will weigh your clothes to know how many pounds we are diverting from the landfill.
We encourage you to purchase your swap ticket in advance. Your ticket includes entry to the event and the clothes you find to take home. As a bonus, we’ll have coffee and fresh baked cookies available for swappers.
Masks are optional and always respected but not required.
What does it cost to attend?
Entry to the swap costs $20.
To help raise funds for our creative reuse mission, a limited number of early access VIP tickets will be available for $35. If you’re looking for the thriftiest way to check out the swap, you can purchase an end-of-day ticket for $10.
What items can I donate?
Please practice good swap karma and only donate items in a condition that you would be willing and excited to take home! Clothes that are no longer wearable (stains, smells, or just worn beyond usefulness) should be donated directly to our partner Remains, a local textile recycling company. We receive a huge volume of donations (yay!) but keeping your donations to the best items ensures our volunteers can get through everything in time for the big day!
We accept wearable items in good condition, including:
Dresses | Shorts | Skirts | Shirts | Pants | Jeans | Shoes | Jewelry | Jackets + Coats | Bags | Sunglasses | Scarves + Hats
We do not accept children’s items or home goods.
When and where can I drop off clothes to donate to the swap?
Donations can be dropped off at the Meeting House on the following dates and times:
- LOCATION CHANGE Saturday, February 17th from 9am-1pm (due to a scheduling conflict clothes will be collected at Perennial 3762 S Broadway on Saturday).
- Wednesday + Thursday, February 21 + 22 from 4-6:30pm – At the Meeting House
- Friday, February 23rd from 12-5:30pm – At the Meeting House
You do not need to purchase a ticket to donate clothing!
When should I arrive?
If you purchase a general admission ticket to the swap, you may drop in anytime between 10:00am and 12:00pm and swap for as long as you’d like within the window. We expect the beginning of the swap to be the busiest, so plan accordingly (and know we appreciate your patience at check-in). If you purchase a VIP ticket, you can arrive 30 min prior to the start of the swap (at 9:30am). If you purchase an End-of-Day ticket, you’ll arrive in the last 30 min of the swap (at 11:30am).
Where can I park?
Free street parking is available on Park Ave. Please do not park in the lot reserved for the apartment complex next door and please leave the small meeting house parking lot clear for those who need additional mobility assistance. Parking will likely be most limited at the beginning of the event.
Can I pay at the door?
Will there be limits on what I can take?
Not at this time. One of the great things about the swap is that we want as much clothing to find new homes as possible, so normally there is no restriction. We do ask that you’re mindful of other swappers and kindly request no resellers or swapping for other friends not attending the swap on their own. Please remember we all have different needs and reasons for attending the swap!
While we always encourage altering and mending clothes to extend their life and make them your own, we discourage taking larger items to “alter down” until the end of the day as we are still working to grow our large+ donation selection.
Can I donate kids clothing?
Sorry, we are not accepting kids clothes for the swap. Just clothing and accessories for adults!
Will there be fitting rooms?
Limited access to bathrooms will serve as fitting rooms. You may also try things on over the clothes you wear to the swap if you are comfortable doing so. If you take home items that don’t end up fitting, you’re encouraged to donate them back to the next swap!
What happens to the leftover clothing?
We partner with social service agencies to give women in our Outreach programs access to the clothes, and Perennial volunteers collect the items that can be used in the workshop for classes and events. Then, the leftover items are donated to Remains, Inc., a local textile recycling company.
What if I have clothes in pretty bad shape that are no longer wearable?
While we always encourage folks to do their best to extend the life of clothing through proper care and mending, we know sometimes you have textiles that are no longer wearable and probably won’t be taken from the swap. We request you take these items directly to Remains so our volunteers don’t spend extra time sorting and hanging these clothes.
Can I volunteer?
Yes! We are now accepting additional volunteers for Friday before the swap and Saturday Clean-Up. Click here to see available shifts and sign up!