Wise Up To Waste Logo
Wise Up to Waste Logo

Swish and Style

Tired of your t-shirts? Wish you had some different dresses? Save money by bringing along your unwanted (but wearable) clothes to one of seven Swish and Style events and go home with a ‘new-to-you’ outfit. The events are open to people who live, work or study in one of the seven north London boroughs (Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest) and are completely free to attend.

Swish and style is a really simple concept - have a clear out and bring good quality clothes to one of the seven events. For each item you bring, you get a token that you can exchange for another garment. Everything is free and clean and everything will be re-worn and re-loved.

You do not need to register in advance but as the events operate a ‘first-come, first-served’ registration policy and you may need to queue up when arriving. Depending on demand we may need to limit the amount people can take home to 10 items, you will be advised on the day if that is the case.


How it works?

For the first hour, everyone is invited to drop off their clothes, shoes and accessories that they want to donate. Whilst they are sorted and hung on hangers, you will be free to check out the workshops and learn how to do simple fixes to your clothes with our seamstress from PoP East London. Upcycle Fashions will also be on hand to run the workshops where you can upcycle your old clothes into something completely different. Some ideas are below to show how your clothes could be transformed at one of the workshops

    • T-shirt bags – this is a great no-sew activity to transform t-shirts into reusable shopping bags. A great way to use up stained or damaged t-shirts as they can be easily customised to cover the stains or holes
    • Fabric flowers – cutting up old and damaged clothing using petal templates to fold and overlap which are then hand stitched into fabric flowers which can be used as corsages to decorate other items
    • Hot water bottle covers – knitted clothing with holes? Use our hot water bottle templates to reuse the best of the fabric to make the most of the soft woolly textiles to help keep you warm
    • DIY t-shirt yarn – cut up your old t-shirts to create one continuous length of jersey yarn, ideal for knitting or crochet to make some fabulous chunky knitted accessories and decorations
    • Scrappy hearts –Keep the fabric offcuts from other upcycle projects and transform into a simple stuffed heart shaped decoration

During the final hour and a half, you get to look through all the clothes and choose what you want to take away with you. It’s first come, first served – but please only take items you’re sure you will wear.

Please note, during the workshops PoP East London will only be able to make minor amendments only to your clothes at these events. If you require further assistance you will be able to contact them outside of the event.


What can and cannot you bring to a Swish and Style event?

Please bring along:

  • Clean and wearable clothes, shoes and accessories
  • Women’s, men’s, children’s and baby clothes

Please note individual accessories may not equate to one token but multiple will, e.g. three scarves may equal one token.

We cannot accept:

  • Damaged clothes, with holes or stains
  • Sharp items
  • Jewellery
  • Underwear (unless unworn in original sealed packaging)

Anything that we deem unacceptable will be given back to you and you will not be given a token. We have the right to turn away any item.


Where is my nearest Swish and Style event?

Waltham Forest – Gnome House, 7 Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow, E17 6DS Saturday 20 January, 2.30 – 5pm

Hackney – St Mark's Church Main Hall, St Mark's Rise, E8 2LJ Saturday 27 January, 2.00 – 4.30pm

Haringey –CUFOS, Top of The Avenue, Muswell Hill, N10 2QE Saturday 3 February, 2.00 – 4.30pm

Islington –New Unity Hall, 277A Upper Street, N1 2TZ Saturday 10 February, 2.00 – 4.30pm

Camden – The Pirate Castle, Oval Road, NW1 7EA Saturday 17 February, 2.00 – 4.30pm

Enfield – Enfield Highway Community Centre, 117 Hertford Road, EN3 5JF Saturday 24 February 2.00 – 4.30pm

Barnet – Chipping Barnet Library, 3 Stapylton Road, EN5 4QT Saturday 10 March, 1.30 – 4pm


What happens to the items left over at the end?

We will be running seven of these events across north London. Any items left over from one Swish and Style will be taken to the next. At the end of the last event, any leftover items will be donated TRAID who will sell them in their charity shops. If there are unwearable items that have been left then these will be recycled and turned into things like car seat stuffing.