The Art of Clothes Swapping

Recently I have become quite the connoisseur of a good clothes swap. I’ve swished my way into new outfits, accessories and shoes for either free entry or under a fiver!

Last weekend (18th May) I popped down to Ivy Manchester in Didsbury for a clothes swap to raise money for a cause dedicated to serving young people that are out of school – NGage. It was fabulous! I came home with two dresses, a cardigan and a jumper. I certainly cashed in on the M&S Knitwear. As a student, I could never afford clothes from Marks and Sparks!

It was a really laid back atmosphere. Often the organisers will exchange the clothes you bring for a voucher with the number of items you can take – this means we don’t go all murderous eyes and greedy when the bell goes and its time to swap! There was quite a collection when we were let loose to start trying on, and I think I took about 10 things to try on at first… not all of worked on me though! I’ve got a top heavy figure, a big bust and no butt. I did however manage to find a few bits and pieces that weren’t too shabby – dresses that flattered and posh knitwear that wouldn’t go all bobbly after the first wash.

This weekend I headed to Soup Kitchen in the Northern Quarter for a ‘Waste Not Clothes Swap’. This one was £3 entry and because its the NQ I knew it was going to be vintage and full of quirks. Low and behold I returned home with a couple of nice summer tops (sequins and all) and a Topshop sheer waistcoat, I predicted the latter being a great addition to my classic basic top leggings and heels look I live by, day AND night. There were a few other stalls there as well that added to the scenery and overall it was a lovely way to spend my Sunday afternoon.

I really really love the idea of clothes swapping. I get bored of my clothes so easily, and it just means that you might find something you’d never usually buy but make a great addition to the wardrobe. I’ve also enjoyed the epic LACK of crop tops, skin tight lace and backless everythings that swamp high street stores these days…. I mean it just doesn’t work for me. I like to be comfy, and showing off my best bits, which low and behold isn’t ALL of me.

Clothes swaps are also a great way of fundraising. Its easy, fun and means you get to learn a bit more about a cause and why it exists. In the past I’ve clothes swapped for Oxfam, Stop the Traffik and then Ivy Fallowfield (my church). I think it also provides a more ethical way of approaching fashion – recycling and re-using clothing saves money and can prompt people to change how they view buying things brand new straight out of the high street. So go on, get swapping!

 

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Oxfam: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/get-together

Stop the Traffik: http://www.stopthetraffik.org/

N-Gage: http://www.n-gage.org.uk

Soup Kitchen: http://soup-kitchen.co.uk/

Ivy Fallowfield: http://www.fallowfield.ivymanchester.org/

 

Babble

When I took a year out before University, I discovered that there are some Christians who fluff up their religion with bright lights, fancy names and well-to-do salaries. Lately I have been reminded that people choose to represent the Kingdom of God in this way, AGAIN. I dont think it provides the best family for people that don’t know Jesus to be a part of. I’m sick of selfish, gossip-fuelled, single-obsessive relationships that only exist because you are part of the church.

Often churches provide a space for the social outcasts of society to be themselves. Call me harsh, but its true. The awkward nerdy lot are on one side of the worship area trying their hardest not to make eye contact with intimidating coolness that stares back at them. We find ourselves making the effort with people we would never usually spend time with, all for the sake of sharing one thing in common, Jesus. I think this effort can quickly turn to fakeness. Fake families that take each other for a ride, all for the sake of the church. Can you just do this little job for me? Its for the church. IF your going to do something, regardless of being in a church circle or not, I’ve always thought you should do it well. Whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. Paul’s totally right. Its simple. You are loved by Jesus regardless, why bother with the receipt of OTHER people’s love in the church, when Jesus’s love is enough to sustain you. It wont stab you in the back, make you feel inferior, guilty, or alone.

Choosing to know Jesus is about taking part in a love story. Meetings, worship nights, curry evenings, clubs, evangelistic events, all come second. And when you feel like you want to be involved in these events, be mindful of the people you’re doing it with. We’re all sinners, we all screw up. But faith is a vulnerable part of my life that affects my heart. SO: Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Oh my gosh and if you need a Sunday off, take it. Jesus won’t love you any less, I guarantee it.  I also think this started out as a bit of a rant, a rant that I think ends up a similar conclusion that lots of people feel in the church. Overcomplicated Christianity, AGAIN.