Women next to shopping bags
Shopping scene in Beijing
Shopping scene in Beijing. Image courtesy of Trey Ratcliff

There are a lot of options when it comes to eco-fashion. But the lowest-impact scenario involves recycling your style through swapping or thrifting clothes and accessories. Each January, the Mommy Greenest community comes together for the Shop Drop Challenge, in which participants pledge to not buy new for the entire month.

A fashion resolution revolution 

A fashion resolution like this can really make a difference. Studies show that 160 million American women spend an average of $60 each month on clothes, while dumping six pounds of textile waste into the landfill.

If every woman in America recycled—by swapping or thrifting—instead of shopping for clothes, we could save $10 billion and one billion pounds of landfill waste; in just 30 days!

Last year, 500 Mommy Greenest readers signed up and saved $30,000 and 3,000 pounds of landfill waste, statistically speaking. Instead of shopping participants were encouraged to swap or thrift their clothes.

Thrifty swapping

Thrifting is pretty self-explanatory, but clothes swapping can get a little confusing.

  • If you’re hosting, make sure that you use an area that makes it easy for you to display the clothes, either folded on tables or hanging from racks.
  • Remind your guests that the items they bring should be clean and in good condition—no holes, rips or stains.
  • Pre-arrange for the donation of clothes that don’t get swapped to a local shelter or non-profit—and make sure you know who’s driving them there.
  • As with any party, have food, drinks and fun!

In terms of the rules of the swap, you can let your guests barter their exchanges directly, or you can give them tickets for each item they bring in; each guest can take out the same number of things that she brought in.

Inspired? Schedule your swap and click here to join the Mommy Greenest Shop Drop Challenge!

Feature image courtesy of Georgie Pauwels

By Rachel Sarnoff

Rachel, better known as Mommy Greenest, blogs about healthier living with less judgment. A journalist and the former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World, Rachel has been interviewed on programs such as "TODAY," "CNN Headline News" and "Good Day LA,". She believes you shouldn't have to be a scientist to make healthy choices, and serves as a resource for information on the topic.