Don’t Shop, Swap!

Didn’t really need that sweater you bought this week? Have 3 of the same pairs of pants? Thought you’d fit into that skirt someday, but it’s not gonna happen? Take a look through your closet, collect the clothes you can’t or won’t wear again—and use them to shop. A wonderful alternative for the shopping-inclined, Swap-O-Rama-Rama is spreading across the country and even overseas. The central concept is for unwanted articles of clothing to be made new again. You bring your stuff to the nearest Swap-O-Rama-Rama and trade it in for new finds—without spending a dime. A new label, to cover the old one, is supplied with each “purchase,” and on the premises there’s an artistic community that can help you make your new clothes new.

New Yorker Wendy Treymayne started this anti-consumerism project in2005, after a slew of other creative projects throughout the city. An artist, yoga instructor, writer, and businesswoman, Treymayne has used her talents to foster both artistic and economic development in particular communities. At all of the Swap-O-Rama-Rama’s you can find artists willing to help you customize, alter, and personalize your new finds. Learn to sew, embroider, knit, and crochet from experts—and in the process, make your new finds more appealing. There’s even a runway, where new outfits can be tested for approval—and the emotional connections to old articles can be shared before an owner parts with it. To learn more about Wendy Treymayne’s expanding and shopping-friendly mission, as well as her many other projects, visit

By Carrie Rattle

Carrie Rattle is a Principal at, a website for women focused on mind and money behaviors. She has worked in the financial services industry for 20+ years and hopes to inspire women to better prepare themselves for financial independence. Read More