Swishing Defined

‘I am a weapon of massive consumption, its not my fault its how I’m programmed to function’ Lily Allen, The Fear.
Fashion programmes and magazines have made dressing well synonymous with self esteem and feeling good which has then created and encouraged a nation of feel good consumerism. We’re all aware of the perils of shopping; debt, unsustainable, throwaway fashion, and wardrobes bursting with items we don’t wear. Straight talking Lily Allen sang about it in The Fear, consumerism is what we are programmed to do, and in the days of having it all, or at least blogging like we do, how are we meant to cope!

Here at Swish & Pout we believe that Swishing is an ideal way to satisfy a shopping urge without spending loads of money and getting something in return for clearing out our wardrobes. This is not a new phenomenon but it is incredibly popular, so what does Swishing actually mean and what does it entail.

Let us explain:

Swishing is defined as: to rustle, as silk or the noise from a movement with a rushing sound e.g. “she swished her hair”.

We equate this to rustling garments in a fashion frenzied environment where you can part with something unloved and literally swish away something new into your wardrobe.

Lucy Shea, founder of Green PR Company Futerra SustainabilityCommunications coined the name ‘Swishing’ back in the year 2000 to create an Eco friendly shopping fix.

Since then, Swishing has become a fashion phenomenon with events popping up in New York and all over the UK to promote sustainable fashion.

Swishing works in many different ways; from local events and websites dedicated to swapping old for new, to groups of friends exchanging items at home. Terms and Conditions apply to most events but the general consensus is – to bring something old and swap it for something new. The idea of clothes swapping is for us ladies to be able to update our wardrobes, on a budget and by doing so, helping the environment as you are recycling rather than throwing away clothes and buying new ones.

Swap clothes / belts / bags / shoes

The popularity of swishing has soared with television programmes pioneering Eco fashion in a trendy way. Twiggy and Lauren Laverne were at the forefront of the ‘Fashion without victim’ movement with their BBC Three show ‘Twiggy’s Frock Exchange’ with tips on how to create your own clothes swap party and advice on alterations.

This movement has exploded more recently with Gok’s Fashion Fix which enabled women of all shapes and sizes to utilise fashion in a positive way and help them look and feel good. As part of this, Gok incorporated a ‘swishing’ element to the show, helping women choose items for their size and shape, and then get them altered accordingly.  

Swishing is much the same as spending a Saturday afternoon in town with your friends. Finding that perfect item still provides the same rush, if not more because it comes alongside the guilt free feeling of having not spent lots of money, and offloading something you don’t wear onto someone who will.

Most of us have been nagged by our significant others / parents / friends to clear out our wardrobes of all the unessential items that we just don’t wear. Apparently we only wear 20% of our wardrobes 80% of the time with an average of 12 outfits that don’t fit us. Instead of feeling guilty about this we can create a ‘revolving wardrobe’ by swapping these items to something that we will actually wear. Goodbye guilt, hello new wardrobe. Don’t forget that as soon as you get bored of an item you can Swish it again for something new.

In the days of Eco friendly awareness and thriftiness becoming once again on trend, Swishing appeals to the creative crafty folk to upcycle and alter into something unique. So even if you can’t swish a top because its well worn and damaged, bring it along anyway and get our on site alterations team to create it into something new!

 Swish & Pout offer these top tips for Swishing: 

  1. Dress like a mime artist – wearing a plain vest and leggings will mean you don’t get shy in our communal changing area and can easily slip on any item of clothing.
  2. Travel light – a hands free bag, means elbows at the ready to grab the best item.
  3. Swishing Karma – if we all bring good things, everyone swishes something good and goes home happy.
  4. Bring your mates – make a day of it, with clothes swapping, cocktails and a make up artist to jazz up your look. You can also use each others vouchers and grab things for each other!
  5. Size is just a number – clothes can be customised and altered. Don’t let the size put you off.
  6. Bring a good selection – we categorise items of clothing into vintage / designer, high end high st and popular high st so that every fashionable lady has an opportunity to swish their way to a new look.
Join us on Facebook to find out about our next swishing events.