I went, I saw, I crafted (well, kinda)! My first Swap-o-Rama-Rama (in Brooklyn) was a success. I got rid of lots of great clothes that I never wore (I saw a girl exclaiming with delight over two pieces of mine a few hours into the swap, and it was so fun to see someone else so happy with my stuff! I get so attached to my things).

I also picked up (just a few) new (to me) items.


The Grand Swap: Donated clothes are sorted by type and gender, and then it’s a free-for-all!

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There were various ‘stations’ where you could get your found clothing modified in various ways. The screenprinting booth was the most popular; the printing guys were at it for hours with no break, printing one of seven different designs on shirts, skirts, coats, jeans, anything. Many, many thanks to the hard-working screenprinting crew!!

starre vswap

Here I am drying one of my newly printed shirts off. What was once a boring off-white long-sleeve is now a really sweet tee. (Image courtesy of Jill at fiftyRX3 who also has a great post on the Swap.)


Another station, run by everything, connected gave lessons in how to recycle knitwear. This group runs a store called twice+knit, which will custom-make an accessory (hat, scarft, glove/armwarmer or bag) in your choice of color, size and texture out of recycled and discarded textiles and yarn.


Textile paints transform yet another boring tee.

jessica delfinopads

Jessica Delfino makes maxi pads out of unloved fabrics (she only uses discarded fabric, she never buys new). There are thick ones, and thin ones, and each has a fun pattern or print on one side. Why shouldn’t there be some kind of fun when you have your period? Jessica is a comedian who also makes ‘dirty folk rock’. Her cd is hilarious (the refrain on the first song about an ex-boyfriend is “you don’t treat my pussy right”!) Check out her video on YouTube…hilarous!!!

craft mag

Craft Magazine has debuted, and it is filled with projects like severed hand pincushions and DIY electronic t-shirts. Gorgeously laid-out, with really clear instructions and really fun, different craft ideas.

Find a Swap near you…they happen all over the U.S.!

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.