Anna Dalziel runs swishing events across Cornwall. She has been a passionate believer in environmental issues since she was a child, and has always loved fashion. As a complete addict to getting a bargain and sourcing clothing from alternative places, Anna is a frequent visitor to Cornwall’s sunny car boot sales, markets and vintage shops.
Anna first heard about other swishing events happening elsewhere in the country but was unable to get to them because of the long journeys involved. So, she decided that instead of missing out on such fabulous activities - she would organise one herself. Anne organised the first Cornish swish in a beachside bar last April and hasn’t looked back since.
Why people Swish...
It sounds like a question with an obvious answer, it’s all about getting free clothes right? Well it probably is the initial motivation for many people, but after running swishes for almost a year I have recognised that there are many motivations that encourage people to swish on a regular basis.
I think the motivation for most women coming along to swishes are very similar. The need for a clear out and a love of clothes is usually how it starts. On arrival all newbie Swishers have a slight look of trepidation and unease but soon get stuck in as the swishing commences!
The Social Swisher
One thing that is instantly noticeable is the social aspect of swishing and many groups of women who come to the events in Cornwall make it their girly night out with friends or a chance for mothers and daughters to spend some time together. My ‘regulars’ now also know each other and there is a real sense of community and fun. This aspect has been a pleasant surprise to me and I have met a fantastic bunch of women who I would have normally probably never have met.
The Selfless Swishers
Some of my Swishers end up with a real diverse selection of clothing at the end of the evening, and this is not because they are delusional about their size or what suits them – it is because they are usually swishing for others carefully selecting items that would suit sisters, mothers, daughters and friends.
The Sewinista Swisher
Another type of swisher is the fabric hunter, choosing items that are made out of beautiful material that they can refashion into other garments. Very clever.
The Super Stylish Swisher
Ever experimental, creative & undoubtedly stylish, these Swishers see bags of potential in items others would easily overlook. When they combine these items the look is effortlessly cool and stylish and I am in complete awe.
The Sustainable Swisher
Living by environmental values does not have to equate to being unstylish. These women love swishing because they love the planet but equally love to look good and swishing combines the two perfectly.
The Savvy Swisher
I increasingly notice comments that people are very grateful for swishing as it allows them to get new clothes without putting the additional burden on their finances. With the recession in full force and rising costs everywhere – swishing is providing a safe haven allowing women their fashion fix without accompanying feelings of guilt.
So the motivations may be different, but Swishing provides a fun and satisfying activity for all of these people and I am sure as time goes on I shall discover even more reasons to Swish. And as for my wardrobe? Well it’s still bulging just with completely different items!
Anna has two swishes coming up:
Children's Swish: Weds 20th April - The Melting Pot Cafe, Redruth 6.30pm
Ladies Swish: Thursday 5th May - Miss Peapods, Penryn, Cornwall 6.30pm