This International Women’s Day, Shenomics is proud to present India’s first Conscious Closet Party (Conscious Closet/CCP). As a coaching platform that focuses on mindfulness, social impact, and women, it’s no surprise we wanted to do something creative that would embody our values… and expand our closets.
Also known as a swishing or a clothes swap, Conscious Closet is a fun networking event that aims to connect women while doing good for the community. Since this is a new concept, we thought we’d put together a crash course on the How, the Whys, the Dos, and the Don’ts of a Conscious Closet Party.
Each woman will buy a ticket and come the day of the event with two (or more) items of clothing or accessories that are in good condition to be swapped with pieces other women have brought to the event. These are the nice, clean, presentable clothes/accessories that are lurking unloved in our wardrobe for one reason or another, just waiting for their second lease on life and a new home to call their own!
While women network and mingle they can survey the pieces they like and trade at leisure. If at the end of the night you have a few unswapped pieces, we ask that you donate them to Shenomics. We will sell all donated pieces and the proceeds will go to benefit our charity partner, Educate Girls.
At the end of the night you will have met some incredible women, gotten rid of a few things you don’t wear, and found a few new pieces you love. Bring some, take some, and donate the rest!
The benefits of CCP are numerous, and listed in no particular order below
By swapping our lightly worn, ill-fitting, or completely untouched items, we reduce, reuse and recycle!! According to the U.K. based company Futerra 0.4 kg of CO2 is saved for every item of clothing that is re-used rather than bought new; this isn’t even including the embedded energy, water and toxins that is saved when we recycle over purchasing clothes brand new. Additionally, according to the Observer journalist Lucy Siegle, author of To Die For: is Fashion Wearing Out the World?, the average woman owns 22 items she’s never worn. I’m a little afraid to count myself.
So for all the things buried away, give them another go at being someone’s new favorite – Toy Story 3 style.
Free & New
I don’t think I actually have to explain the benefits of new clothes. But I will say- there is an extra thrill that comes with New and Free. The combination of getting a piece you love from a well-bargained barter is a high every woman should have at least once. It’s better than shopping it’s Swapping! And just to reiterate, it’s FREE!!
Educated girls have the unique ability to bring unprecedented social and economic changes to their families and communities. By generating awareness and empowering village communities to improve the quality of girls’ education and infrastructure in government schools, more girls can be educated at a larger scale. As a result, health, income levels and overall livelihood improve, bringing about social transformation of rural, tribal and underserved societies.
Not only are you saving the planet by attending this event, but you’re donating to an incredibly worthy cause. All unswapped items donated at the end of the night will be sold on Revamp My Closet, official event partner. The proceeds from which will go to our charity partner, Educate girls. Few organizations are as cost-effective and scalable as Educate Girls. Close to 80,000 girls have already benefitted from Educate Girls’ programs. Educate Girls’ aims to create policy change within government to provide 4 million children with quality education and leadership training by 2018. To learn more about Educate Girls, click here.
The Do-Good Feel-Goods
Giving feels good, being socially responsible feels great! You’re bringing joy (material & otherwise) into the lives of others. Share and get ready for the sweet satisfaction that comes with making a difference!
At the event you will be able to meet all kinds of incredible women from around Bangalore! As amazing as networking is, we know it can be intimidating- especially coming up with an opening line.
Thankfully CCP makes it easy! Strike up a conversation about a cool piece and pivot that into something meaningful. While you swap, you’ll naturally increase your professional network!
You now know the How and the many Whys, let’s get into the Dos and Don’ts!
Do: come! We know March 8th being on a Tuesday makes it a little hard for the working women out there, but the evening promises to be full of fun and opportunity! Make the trek out, and you won’t regret it!
Do: take you time. Do a round or two of talking before making any swaps. You want to see what’s out there, and give women a chance to see what you have as well! Waiting for the event to fill gives you the opportunity to meet lots of women and more choices!
Do: come with an open mind! Swapping forces you to step out of your comfort zone. You’ll find pieces you may never have bought in the store, but this is the chance to experiment risk free since it’s literally free. Come and take chances, you never know what you may fall in love with!
Do: be respectful. Inevitably there will be a few pieces everyone will covet! No spitting, scratching, or fighting ladies!
Do: try it on! If there is something you’re really interested in, put it on.
Pro Tip: come wearing something that will be easy to layer. Jeans and a tank top maybe? This will limit your trips to the restroom and make your swap even more effective!
Do: Instagram/FB your trade! We’d love to see the swaps being made. Instagram your trade in real time, haul at the end of the night, or complete outfits later! Don’t forget to hashtag #Shenomics #IWD & #ConsciousCloset !!
Don’t: bring grungy gross shirts, bottoms, or shoes to the swap. Nobody wants the holey top you’ve had since your freshmen year of college. Conscious Closet depends heavily on the honor system. You’ve got to bring quality to expect quality in return!
Don’t: be envious. Perhaps someone else got the dress you really wanted. It happens. It’s the nature of the beast. Let go and let flow!
Don’t: be stingy. You don’t have to swap, but don’t be a hoarder with your stuff either. We’ll say it again, let go and let flow – you won’t be disappointed!
Don’t: be insecure with your body! Sometimes the clothes won’t fit. We know this can feel really bad. Don’t stress it – we all have different body types and some swaps will be better than others in this way. On the flip side, seeing how the same thing lays on people with a different body types is really empowering. It helps shake the idea of good and bad. Either way, try not to get hung up on it, and remember –there are always accessories!
Don’t: be insecure with your style.
If people aren’t jumping to swap, don’t take it personally! People will take their time and some crowds have different tastes. As author Lisa Amerongen puts it, “chances are the things you brought aren’t a reflection of your style as as a whole. And if they are… Cool. U R A UNIQUE FASHION FLOWER! BLOOM & GROW FOREVER.”
Don’t: regret your swaps! We all know kids who don’t want a toy, until they see someone else playing with it. It’s the lesser nature in all of us. If you brought something to the event, you did for good reason. Don’t regret the swap once it’s done! Rather embrace the new and exciting things that will surely be entering your life!
Don’t: be afraid to talk to other women. It’s all about making connections with awesome ladies- so put your stunning self and your equally stunning bracelet out there!
Don’t: leave empty handed, and be sure to have fun!
You’re now an expert in the art of a Conscious Closet Party; so this International Women’s Day, dress Soulfully and give consciously! Get your tickets here, we can’t wait to see you there!
This article was originally written for and published on Shenomics.com
About the Author
Misha Rahman recently uprooted her life in Boston to move to Bangalore, India and work with Shenomics. She is completing a professional certification in social enterprise through IDEX Accelerator’s Global Fellowship Program. She spends her days on facebook, twitter, and linkedin- also known as marketing and strategy. In addition to empowering women she is interested in conflict resolution and human rights work. Misha enjoys traveling, reading, and binge watching Netflix.