Family friendly

Swap&Mend | 23 March 2024

Sat Mar 23, 10:00 - Sat Mar 23, 14:00

Field Station, Green Point Park


Twyg’s Swap&Mend is back. This time, with new experiences to further inspire your sustainable fashion journey. Take home not only "new" clothes, but new fashion skills and new knowledge about fashion. On 23 March, the incredible mending and upcycling brand Patch&Stitch will join us to assist you and host a workshop on how to upcycle an old hoodie. Included in the day, is a short talk by Dr Erica de Greef from the African Fashion Research Institute on Afrocentric upcycling.

Keeping clothes in circulation and taking care of them are acts of love for the people who made your clothes and for the planet. By swapping and mending your clothes you’re helping to reimagine fashion and putting care at the heart of a new fashion system.

How a Swap&Mend works

  • Bring a maximum of 10 clean, unbroken, good-condition clothes for colder days.
  • Bring your mending kit and join our community of sustainable fashion lovers
  • Bring an old hoodie which you can upcycle along with expert upcycler, Collen Shoko of Patch&Stitch
  • Bring a notebook and questions for AFRI’s Dr Erica de Greef’s presentation on Afrocentric upcycling
  • We don’t swap clothes that smell, have holes, are pilled or dirty
  • You can swap for the same number of clothes as the good quality clothes that you bring?
  • Bring your friends and a picnic (and blanket)


R150 to participate which will cover our costs.


  • 10 – 11 am: Arrive, sort, donate, swap and mend previously worn clothes (these activities continue throughout the day)
  • 11 am – 12 pm: Watch and learn from Patch&Stitch as Collen Shoko upcycles a hoodie. Attendees are invited to bring their own hoodie to learn alongside Collen
  • 12 pm – 1 pm: Erica de Greef co-founder of the African Fashion Research Institute will take attendees on a short visual journey of some upcycled objects found in South Africa’s local cultural museums and contemporary craft traditions. There will be opportunities to chat with Dr Erica de Greef throughout the day
  • 1 – 2 pm: Activities continue

Why you should Swap&Mend

The fashion industry is notorious for producing more clothes than we can realistically wear. For example, ultra-fast fashion giant, Shein, produces between 35,000 and 100,000 every day. This results in large volumes of waste which often ends up in landfills.

This excessive overproduction is coupled with rampant overconsumption. These volumes of waste, the growth of fast fashion giants, and the never-ending trend cycle make tackling the ills of fast fashion seem overwhelming. But, if we made these systems, we can unmake and remake them too. It all starts with rethinking how we shop and how we make clothes. To understand what a circular fashion system is read this article. 

Recirculating clothing that already exists is one effective way to tackle fashion’s waste crisis and limit the demand for new clothing. Clothes swaps have become a fun and Earth-friendly way to do this.

What you can expect at a Swap&Mend

Clothes swap events are gatherings of people who get together to exchange garments they no longer wear and to mend the ones they still love. This allows these items to stay in circulation for longer, instead of going to waste.

We all have items in our wardrobes that we hardly wear because we have outgrown them, our style has changed, or maybe you just don’t want to wear your ex’s hoodies. A clothes swap is a great way to responsibly rehome these items and allow you to add a new-to-you item to your wardrobe at the same time. They also teach us the value of a community just like the circulating pants in The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.

It gives you the thrill of a mysterious treasure hunt and it’s a fun way to get out of your comfort zone and try a new style that you’d been eyeing.

What to keep in mind

One thing to keep in mind about swaps is that you don’t always find exactly what you’re looking for and might leave empty-handed, occasionally. Clothing swaps are a practice in patience — if you wait long enough, you’ll usually find a gem.

As with any other event, there are certain rules that participants need to adhere to, such as the maximum number of items you can exchange, ensuring your garments are clean, making sure garments are free of holes and tears, and avoiding undergarments. The golden rule is: If you wouldn’t feel comfortable gifting it to a friend, then you probably shouldn’t be bringing it to a swap shop, because chances are it is not in a condition for anyone else to wear either.

This is your sign to swap before you shop. Switch up your wardrobe and lower your fashion footprint at the same time. What are you waiting for?


African Fashion Research Institute




Swap&Mend | 23 March 2024
Field Station, Green Point Park
3CV4+84, De Waterkant, Cape Town, 8051
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