I know that shopping is a very guilty pleasure. Fast fashion eats up the world’s resources, and yesterday’s budget does nothing to reduce my ‘buying the same thing in matching colours if it feels good’ structural deficit.
So does Swishing release me from my shopping guilt? That depends on how you look at it. Sure it reduces waste. Thousands of women have swished millions of clothes. But this is a tiny portion of the ton of clothes thrown away in the UK each year.
That’s missing the point. When Swishing started out only the environmental elite came, to dematerialize the economy (and have now moved on to wearing one dress a year). Then came the fashion pack to revel in the latest trend (currently in a frenzy of colour blocking). Now Swishing has reached its main audience: women, who come for the free clothes and stay for the party (that’s all of us then).
Swishing glamorizes green. It works because I can swap something I love for something I might love just a little bit more. In literal terms, I adore my original 80s Calvin Klein tuxedo pants (Swish circa 2010). And philosophically, I’ve traded in a shopping habit for a swapping habit, at least in part.
So Swishing is designed to push my pleasure principle.
It makes me feel great. The joy continues beyond the initial thrill of swooping on a pair of silky polka dot Ralph Lauren shorts, to a wee buzz every time I realize I’m wearing a couple of items for which I’ve paid zilch. It puts me in the mood to be greener, whether it’s to throw more Swishing parties or get on my bike.
Swishing makes me feel good about being green, rather than guilty. What about you?