How do you get new stuff yet create zero waste? Get yourself to a sustainable swapshop
Events don’t come much more wholesome than a swap saving clothes from landfill that’s also raising money for a charity pairing young professionals with pensioners to combat loneliness. At Sip & Swap – run by North London Cares – you can bring up to ten good-quality pre-loved garms or accessories and exchange them for ‘new’ pieces. Thank God there’ll be bubbles and Bloody Marys there to stop us feeling too worthy. Camden Collective. Tube: Camden Town. Mar 1. £6, £12-£16 including food and drink.
London Velo is Deptford’s first and only bike café. It even has its own onsite mechanic. So little wonder then that at Clothes Swap at London Velo they’re looking for helmets, cycling gloves and skin-tight Lycra cast-offs along with the usual threads. Grab one of Velo’s Union Coffee brews while you’re there and see if the café’s french bulldog Maurice will submit to a pat. London Velo. Deptford Bridge Overground. Thu Feb 20. Free.
As well as letting you trade your unwanted clobber for something that feels new, the Swish & Style swap will teach you how to give your battered wares the Fairy Godmother treatment at an upcycling-by-embroidery workshop – so you get to stick it to fast fashion in the process. St Mary Magdalene. Enfield Chase rail. Sat Feb 22. Free.
For designer label lovers
Rifle through the stylish wardrobes of influencers, designers, models and stylists for some exemplary pre-loved attire at this curated designer clothes swap. Keep a sharp eye out at Fashion Circle and you might walk away with something rather special, and for the price of a Zara knit. Stick around for panel discussions with experts in sustainable fashion and a charity raffle (£5 a ticket) for Red Cross Australia where prizes from Hunza G and Rixo are up for grabs. The AllBright Mayfair. Tube: Oxford Circus. Sat Feb 22. £15, £45 including brunch.
For plant people
Is your love for potted ferns out of control? Or are you after some new greenery for your jungle of a bedroom? Swipe someone else’s unwanted foliage at the Uprooted Plant Swap. No palming off your dying orchid on someone else, mind – healthy growers only. Second Home London Fields. London Fields Overground. Mar 21. Free.
For vintage collectors
Tottenham club Five Miles will be covered in lace tops and leather bags for the Vintage Market & Swap Sale Pop Up. You won’t find anyone trying to fob you off with their gravel-encrusted Reeboks here – it’s good quality pre-loved stuff, along with upcycled items from brands like Lemonade Monday. If you don’t have anything you’d be proud to trade, pay a fiver on the door for five ‘swap’ tokens, with proceeds going to mental health charity Mind. Five Miles also has an onsite brewery with top-tier craft beer for browsing breaks, but the swap doesn’t apply to that bit, so no trying to pay for your pints with a pillbox hat. Five Miles. Tube: Tottenham Hale. Mar 1. Free-£5 donation.
For seasoned swappers
Swap Rebellion is the old guard of sustainable clothes swaps, operating out of larger venues like a well-oiled swishing machine. The next place you’ll find it is The Jago in Dalston, where you can trade up to ten items (good quality only – the Rebellion does not tolerate missing buttons). When you’re done, you can drape yourself in those rehomed clothes while you take the mic for Jago Karaoke. Hit the crowd with a bit of Keith Urban: ‘You Look Good in My Shirt’. The Jago. Dalston Junction Overground. Thu Feb 20. £7.
Admit it, there’s at least one book in your home you can bear to part with. And if you visit a book swap, you can find a new one to fill that gap on your shelf. Trading paperbacks with strangers is a chance to introduce yourself to new authors and diversify the reading habits you didn’t even know you had. Trawl through your collection and find the chosen one for Book Swap for Morley Green Week on March 4. Come on, you can do this. Morley College London Foyer. Tube: Lambeth North. Mar 4. Free, £1 without a book.
For body-positive shoppers
Secondhand shopping is great, but so many vintage fairs have rails and rails stocked with impossibly small sizes. To make things worse, plus-size clothes are expensive. At the Fat Positive Clothes Swap, there will be piles of gorgeous jeans, tops and dresses – all free, all looking for a good home and all size 16/L upwards. The swap is super-friendly and accessible, so you’ll spend most of the day making friends with the former owners of your new favourite outfit. Deptford Methodist Missions Disabled People’s Contact. Deptford rail. Feb 29. Suggested donation £2-£5.
For fitness fans
Got a pair of old running leggings stashed away in the back of the cupboard? Grab sports goods donated by others, such as vests and water bottles, at the Running & Sports Clothes Swap. There’ll be refreshments on hand to help fuel the swishing process. Who knows? You might run away with a Lululemon bargain. The View Tube. Pudding Mill Lane DLR. Sun Mar 8. Free. By Alexandra Sims and Katie McCabe
After more sustainable bargains? Check out our list of the best charity shops in London
Get deep in bric-à-brac at these great London flea markets
Images: Swap Rebellion, The Fashion Circle, Swish & Style