An Advocate's Guide to Hosting a Clothing Swap

 
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Dressember’s key goal is to raise awareness and financial support for our grant partners who are working to end modern day slavery, but we are always striving to make an even larger impact around the world. One of the ways that we see this happening is through sustainable and ethical shopping. 

We know that for a lot of people Dressember seems intimidating for the sole purpose of not feeling like we can have a big enough impact because of how little we perceive we can raise. If you’re looking for a fun, interactive way to raise money for Dressember that also incorporates sustainable and ethical practices then maybe it’s time you considered hosting a clothing swap!

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Micah Salac, 22 year old Dressember advocate, is fiercely determined to see an end to modern-day human trafficking. One of the ways that she did this during Dressember was to host a clothing swap. In just three hours Micah’s clothing swap raised over $1,000. Micah challenges Dressember advocates by asking us all to consider -- “What will leave a long-lasting impression about this cause?”

 

rally your team

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For her and her team the answer was a clothing swap. Thinking ahead to Dressember 2018, Micah has given us some tips on how to successfully host one of our own. Her first tip is to find somebody that is willing to help you plan and coordinate the event. Micah quips, “life is better when you do it in pairs or groups,” and she’s right. It’s one of the reasons that we have Dressember teams, so gather your team and see who wants to help! Dressember couldn’t do everything that we continue to do without our partners and advocates and this is a true picture of that. 

save the date

Micah’s next tips include finding a venue and setting the date. These steps should be planned at least two months in advance and ideally you’ll want to find a free location. Remember, this is about raising money for Dressember and costs can add up quickly so you’ll want to alleviate cost wherever you can! Check with your team to ensure they are all available to be at the event as well and look at external factors. Micah emphasizes to “check the weather! When it snows here, no one knows how to drive so they choose to stay home.” Whether you live somewhere really warm or cold, make sure to pick a venue that accommodates to each need. 

Make your event public

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Once you’ve got those two little details ironed out Micah says it’s time to make the event public. She heavily utilized social media and a free online ticket website that allowed her followers to RSVP to the clothing swap. Micah suggests including information that will help link them back to Dressember and why it is so important to you and information regarding drop-off locations and times. She also emphasizes that, “visuals are everything,” meaning that you should be sure to include pictures that help showcase the clothing swap. All the little details should be ironed out before the event goes live to ensure a smooth transition and as few issues as possible. 

Once this is done and people start committing and dropping clothes off Micah says, “now the thing that you can focus ALL your attention to is how you promote it. Get the other ladies in your life to post it, have coffee dates with girls to chat about this issue, be proactive!” This is your chance to promote not only your clothing swap, but also Dressember and what it’s all about. 

Set your prices & make the magic happen

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Micah suggests using the week ahead of the clothing swap to get more personal with people and urges you to, “get creative.” You’ll use this time to draw more people in and to get organized. You can decide how to price the clothes; this is your event after all! Micah held an auction for the nicer, designer items and almost everything else started between $2-5, but you get to decide how this goes. 

Micah really emphasizes the importance of having a warm, positive environment to come into because, “no one wants to walk into a stressed place.” Take some time before the event to relax, enjoy being with your team, and remind yourself that this is all going to a better cause!

Micah’s last piece of advice for someone wanting to host a clothing swap is to remember the WHY behind the event you’re hosting.

Remember, this is not for you. This is for the women who do not have a voice...This is for the women all over the world and YOU are a part of making the change.
— Micah Salac

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Raise your voice against slavery this December!

Commit to wearing a dress or tie every day in December. You'll challenge yourself, expand your knowledge on modern slavery, and be equipped to lead your community in the fight to end human trafficking. Registration is open for Dressember 2018 and fundraising has already started! Be a part of the impact for our local and global partners by creating your campaign page today!

XO

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About the Author

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Sonsee Jenkins is a lover of animals (big and small), hand lettering, and writing. Her experiences include rehabilitating raccoons, writing for her school’s humanity department, and advocating for the oppressed. She attends a small university in Northeast Indiana and hopes to use her degree (and all her time working up to it) to end human trafficking.