How does it work?
Unless otherwise specified, Swap Don’t Shop parties are ticketed events.
When you arrive you pay your admission, receive a ticket for each item you bring (to a maximum of 30 tickets). Each ticket can then be redeemed for a new swap item. Since there will always be people who bring more than they find, and vice versa, there is a bowl for people to drop off/pick up extra tickets.

There is not always a dedicated changing area, but there are mirrors, so wearing clothes that swap finds can be layered over is always a good idea. Bringing bags to take home your haul in is also advised (although there are usually a few extras kicking around).

In addition to the main event, there are usually snacks, DIY tips on display and on-site alterations available.

What should I bring?
The general rule is – if you wouldn’t offer it to someone you know, don’t bring it. It’s no fun sorting through racks of old outdated clothing, so think about the quality of clothing you’re hoping to find when deciding what to bring.

Along the same lines, any intimates aren’t welcome, so it’s best to leave your old bathing suits, undies, socks, and the like at home.

Feel free to bring anything that is clean and in good condition, but that - for whatever reason (regrettable impulse purchase, no longer fits, etc.) is just gathering dust in your closet. 

Shoes in near new condition, jewellery, and other accessories in good condition are also welcome.

What quality of clothing am I likely to find?
We have a sorting area where all incoming clothing is sorted by volunteers. Anything that is stained, torn, too outdated, or otherwise un-swap-worthy is separated for direct donation to charity or thrown out (whichever is appropriate). This means that all the clothes that make it out onto the floor are clean and in good condition.

What happens with the admission money?
It goes into the costs of the event – hiring seamstresses & workshop coordinators, venue rental, transportation, food, etc. Money left at the end of the event goes into improvements for future swaps.

What happens to the clothing left at the end of the event?
Everything left at the end of the event gets donated to charity. Organizations we have donated to in the past include Planet Aid, Goodwill, Cecil St. Community Centre, Evangel Hall, The Corsage Project and the Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy.

How much should I bring?
The important thing is quality, not quantity. If you only have a few swap-worthy items – just bring those. Tickets are only given for clothing that is clean and in good condition, so keep this in mind when deciding what to bring.

Do I need to get there at the start? If I get there later, will there be anything left?
The largest volume of people come early, so the largest selection is available in the first couple of hours. That said, if you prefer a calmer swapping experience, there are still great finds to be had later in the day. I have found some of my favourite swap items in the last half hour of events, so great stuff can definitely be found throughout the day. 

How do I find out about upcoming swaps
Sign up for our mailing list (on the main page) to get notified about all future Swap Don't Shop events.

I have clothing to donate, and there isn’t a swap coming up? Where should I take them?

In addition to the charities mentioned above, here's a list of places clothing can be donated in Toronto:

2300 Sheppard Ave. W. Suite 201
Home pick-up is available.

205 Parliament St.
Maternity clothes, young women's clothes, and children's clothes are welcome.

10 Gateway Blvd.

They have numerous drop-off bins, and offer home pick up.

931 Kingston Rd.

188 Lowther Ave.
Professional clothing for men and women

962 Bloor St. W.

431 Broadview Ave.


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