3 ways to refresh your wardrobe without spending any money

In this month's column, Cat Brant offers tips for reviving your wardrobe on a budget.
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If you have made it this far with me on our mission to transform our wardrobes sustainably, thank you! I am honoured to have you back. This month we are going to be talking about how to refresh your wardrobe without spending any (or very little) money.

READ MORE: How to build a capsule wardrobe

How to refresh your wardrobe without spending any money: Cat Brant wearing a red and pink gingham midi dress and trainers with her hands up in the air.
@thecatscurves

Swishing

The easiest way to swap clothes is with your family and friends. You can agree to exchange a few pieces forever, or just borrow items for a short while. When I go to see my Mum, I raid her wardrobe for things she isn’t wearing and I’ve given armfuls of her old garments new life.

You can also hold swishing events with family and friends. It’s really simple; just make an agreement that everyone attending will bring a selection of quality items they would be happy to part with, prepare some snacks and drinks, and go through each other’s clothes to agree swaps. Win win! Plus, who doesn’t want an excuse for a party?

Family and friends not your size or style? There are swapping events held up and down the country. These events are often ticketed and you’ll need to check the specific event guidelines but as a general rule, you simply take your unwanted items with you and swap them for others. The Big Swap Events is holding a size inclusive event in Nottingham in July.

READ MORE: Is sustainable fashion size inclusive? This plus size woman finds out

Virtual Swapping

When it comes to virtual swaps, the first place I go is Facebook. There are plenty of community groups like The Great British Clothes Swap. Be warned that most of these groups will have items for sale rather than to swap and this comes with its own pitfalls of price negotiations and postage to consider. Most users are respectful but expect a margin of inaccuracy in listing. You are not offered the same level of protection from these issues as you would be on reselling sites such as Vinted or Depop.

There are several virtual swap shops that take the hassle out of swapping and most offer a monthly subscription fee and credits. You get credits for your items that you can use to ‘buy’ new items from online shops. Swopped has an easy to use interface and loads of clothes in various sizes and Nuw is great too.

Renting

Did you know you can rent clothes? A decade ago rental was reserved for fancy ballgowns and designer gear but there are now several platforms offering rentals at reasonable prices.

Can’t shake that feeling of needing a new outfit for a special event? That’s ok. This is a perfect way to wear something new and special without the huge cost and environmental impact of doing so.

Hurr is a platform that also allows you to rent your wardrobe out. If you have a collection of fancy dresses collecting dust that you can’t part with, Hurr allows you to make some income on them in the meantime. You can also hire, and they have plus size clothing. Yay!

READ MORE: How to make money from renting your clothes

Join me next month, when I’ll tell you everything I know about shopping and selling second hand, including charity shopping, online pre-loved clothing, resellers and how to negotiate for great prices. Until then, you can keep in touch with me over on Instagram @thecatscurves.

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