Clothing Recycling Brilliance

All we women really want is a little Give and Take.



If you’ve ever read this blog, you know that resale is a way of life for me. I’m all about the power of preowned. My clothes come from the local designer consigment shop, I find fabulous furniture for a steal on Craigslist, buy flea market art, and have a million secret spots for cool vintage jewelry. And just when I thought I’d seen everything that the world of resale had to offer, this article about clothing recycling in the LA Times turned me on to a brilliant new idea…the swap boutique!


So right there in that photo is my personal hero of the week, Dora Copperthite. She owns what may very well be the first swap boutique in the history of the universe. It’s called Give and Take, and it’s in Playa del Rey (14 minutes from my house, according to Mapquest — woo-hoo!)

This is one of those ideas that makes such darned good sense that you wonder why it’s never been done before. Copperthite’s swapping system is better than consignment, easier than eBay, and ensures a neverending supply of swappable swag for her discerning customers. Here’s the deal: You bring your clothes to Give and Take, where they’re categorized for swapping. Designer duds are Level I, and earn you points that are based on the value of the item. You can spend your points or save them for a rainy day, just like store credit. Level II is for your trendy cheapies and mall buys (The Gap, Forever 21, etc), which get swapped on a one-for-one basis. Bring one in, take one out — it’s that simple. Level III is for the stuff you might have thrown out or given away because it’s odd-fitting or out of fashion. These clothes are free to all Give and Take members, and what’s not scooped up is donated.

The cost of membership is a mere $20 per month, which is just a little something to help Dora keep the lights on, and if you think about it, a mere pittance for the privilege of swapping to your heart’s content.

Need a reminder about why it’s way cooler to shop preowned? The LA Times says that the average American throws 54 pounds of clothes and shoes into the trash each year. That adds up to about 9 million tons of wearables that are sent into the waste stream, according to the Environmental Protection Agency — a 27% increase in a mere eight years. Want more reasons to be part of the recycling solution? Then dig back into our blog archives and check this out. Or this. Or this.

I’m coming, Dora! And I’m bringing the obscenely expensive jeans I could never quite squeeze into…and the dress that’s not really appropriate for my ’30s…and the boots that are so gorgeous it hurts, but squeeze my toes ’til they hurt too…My trash is going to be someone else’s treasure, and I’m a-gonna swap my heart out!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Share on LinkedInPin on Pinterest


  1. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *