Swapsies – what’s mine is yours

“Sisters, sisters, never were there two more devoted sisters, caring, sharing every little thing that we are wearing…” song by Irving Berlin
Clothing has caused so many rows between my sister and I when we were growing up… never did we think we would speak the words “what’s mine is yours” out loud!

My sister and I are only a year apart in age and through our childhood we were always dressed in the same (sometimes different colours, but always the same clothing). The downside to being the youngest is that she had to wear the outfit longer by wearing my ‘hand me downs’ as I grew out of them. My Mum is not one to be wasteful would get the last possible wear out of each piece of clothing before handing over to friends or charity shops.

We can recollect times when family dropped in clothing that no longer fitted our older cousins. We used to ransack the bag with delight – it was always something new to us and we found it exciting.
As fashion has become more accessible, prices have dropped and people don’t always associate a great deal of value to their clothing. If a top costs £3 and the trousers £5 why go to the effort of passing it on – when someone can buy an outfit for less than £10?
With the gloomy reality of being in the midst of a recession consumers are being encouraged to buy into clothing that is more durable, classic and will last the test of time. Will this bring back trading, swapping and exchanging?
My sister and I’s relationship to clothing has changed and we now work as a team. We recently started doing “swapsies” where I take a bag of clothing over to her house or mine and we trade. Similar to when we were children in the playground and traded sweets  we called the process “one for one”.
I recently came across a website founded by Judy Berger in 2004, called “whatsmineisyours.com” –  this online community allows users to upload clothing, while other users bid their interest to purchase or exchange something in return. I think this is an exciting way to update or refresh your wardrobe without spending a fortune. It also brings people with a genuine love for fashion together to exchange style tips and value clothing.
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