On September 18th Works-in-Progress will be transforming Westdale front yards into back-to-school kids' clothing swap "stores".
Spread out over a few blocks, the sale will be united by a map so swappers can easily find the yard offering the size they are looking for. Host yards will be decorated with beautiful signs, festive bunting and children's clothing. Works-in-Progress will provide our famous up-cycled t-shirt bags for people to bring home their spoils. (You can also bring your own bags, of course!) If you want to support costs and get a t-shirt bag, it is $5 to fill a bag (or pay-what-you-can best offer, including FREE) and the money goes to cover material costs and artists' work (graphic design, etc) for the swap. Swap posters are available (created by local Works-in-Progress artist Treya Beaulieu). We encourage shoppers and hosts to maintain 6ft distance, wear masks, use hand sanitizer before and after shopping and fill a bag with some new to you clothes.
As you can see from the photos above, we have organized a number of swaps in Toronto but kids grow fast over the summer in neighbourhoods all over, so Hamilton resident and Works-in-Progress member Marnie Saskin has volunteered to run our 2021 inaugural Westdale swap.
If you live in the Westdale area and/or are interested in hosting, volunteering or donating gently used (and clean!) children's clothing, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (even better) fill out the form at the bottom of this page. Of course, you are welcome just to drop by as well. We can also help you run your own swap in your neighbourhood.
Please come out on the 19th of September! The swaps hours are 11am-2pm. There is a map below with all our front yard "shops". The legend tells you where to go to shop for your size, or where to drop off your (clean, gently used) donations... please put them in a bag labelled with the size and drop at that location, before you shop. Again, the front yard tables will be open from 11-2pm on Saturday September 19 (with Sunday September 19th as a rain date)
We still have space for hosts if you want to help with a location or with handling day-of donation. Please fill out the form below if you want to help, and please contact us with any questions. We have added a list of FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) below. The first question is a basic one:
Q. HOW DOES A SWAP WORK? The goals of a children's clothing swap are to reduce textile waste -- save money -- and do something useful in the neighbourhood. Here's how it works: If you want to host a swap site -- Sign up. If you have a yard or driveway, you can even host a swap without running it on the day. If you don't have a yard or driveway, you can still run a site. Day before the swap (or morning of) -- Bring outgrown/surplus clothes to the swap sites -- clean clothes, sorted by size, in good shape, infant and children's sizes up to men/women's small (equivalent to boys/girls 14-16) On swap day -- Tour the swap sites -- pick up clothes that are new-to-you -- chat with neighbours on a nice fall day We ask everyone wear masks while shopping. Bags and clothes will be laid out and there is no need to be close. Use hand sanitizer before and after handling clothes and wash everything you bring home. After the swap -- If you are a host, collect any remaining clothes into a box or bag -- WIP will take them away for you.
Frequently asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. Does it cost money? We are selling bags to support the cost of the swap (paying artists for graphic design, printing signs, etc) for $5 or pay-what-you-can (including FREE). You then fill up the bag with clothes wherever you shop. No individual prices! The object is to find new homes for ALL the clothes, so don't be shy. You can also bring your own bags to fill if you prefer.
Q. Why a swap? With a little bit of work we can all benefit greatly from both finding a new home for our old items and by giving old items a new home. We avoid waste and enrich ourselves, and it costs some time and effort instead of money.
Q. What are benefits/responsibilities of hosts? Benefits: People bring you donations of clothes in your child's size and you have first dibs on choosing what you want. Fun to see people and good karma. Responsibilities: Need to set up and maintain site from 10am-3pm on swap day. Works-in-Progress will bring signs, bags, maps and support if you need a break. Please provide hand sanitizer for yourself and shoppers.
Q. Can we donate adult clothes? No. Only children's clothes, up to men/women's small (equivalent to boys/girls 14-16)
Q. Can we donate games/books/household items No. However, if you are hosting you can choose to put out extra household items to give away, but you must keep anything that does not get taken.
Q. Can we donate other textiles like household items such as sheets? No. We welcome all neighbours to come and volunteer, but the items for this swap are for households with kids to give to other households with kids - so wearable clothes in good condition only. Participants are asked to not donate clothing that needs repair.
Q. I live in an apartment- can I still host? Yes. You can sign up as a co-host and partner with someone with a yard - we can help to connect you.
Q. I live outside the neighbourhood- can I still volunteer? Yes. You can co-host and partner with someone with a yard - we can help to connect you. Or you can help pick up bagged extra items after the swap.
Q. I have a driveway/yard and would like to help, but I don't want to run the table - can you use the driveway without me? Yes. We will have parents and volunteers willing to run the swap on the day who do not have a yard themselves.
Q. What are the safety protocols? We ask everyone to wear masks while shopping. Bags and clothes will be laid out, so there is no need to be close. Use hand sanitizer before and after handling clothes.
Q. What are benefits /responsibilities of providing a yard but not hosting? Benefits: Mostly good karma, helping the earth, that sort of thing. Raising the neighbourhood up. Responsibilities: If possible, receive donated bags of clothes on porch or covered area the night before. Provide a table or chairs for items if you can. Volunteer hosts will run the table on swap day, and WIP volunteers will collect left-overs after the swap, either that evening or the day after.
Q: Why is Works-in-Progress organizing this swap? We are an eco-art collective, which means some members are inspired to make things from waste (up-cycle) and all of us want to reduce waste and save money by sharing rather than throwing these clothes out and buying new ones.
Q: What's the difference between this and a regular neighbourhood yard sale? Each yard will have only one type of item (children's clothes in one size), and nothing is for sale
Q: How do I donate? Drop off clothes (clean, sorted by size, and in labelled bags) at the host house the night before or the morning of the swap. If you cannot drop donations off on these days and must do so earlier in the week, please contact email@example.com
Q: How do I sign up to host/offer my driveway? Sign up using this form embedded below or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Where will the kid's sizes I want be located? Check the map! It will be continue to be updated over time as people continue to sign up to host. Each size will only be at one or two sites. We will have paper copies of the map at the yards. The final day for acceptance of host tables will be ??? so the last day the map will be updated will be ???
Q: Can I donate clothes the day of the swap? Yes! You can donate clean clothes that you no longer need (please label the bag) to the appropriate yard, then continue your day finding clothes that your household needs! Q: What area are the swaps in? The swaps are in the Westdale neighbourhood of Hamilton, north of Main St W from west of Hwy 403 to McMaster.
Q: How long does it talk to walk? Or do we have to drive? All places are walking distance. If you do drive, there is free street parking most areas. There is also bus service on Longwood, King St W, and Main St W.
Q: Is there a rain date? Yes, Sunday, September 19 (the next day), but we really hope it does not rain. Yard Hosts will keep the donated bagged clothes on their porches or in covered areas if we postpone due to rain. If this is not possible contact WIP at email@example.com.
Q: How do I find the swaps? Check the map! It will be continue to be updated online over the week as people continue to sign up to host. Each size will only be at one or two sites. We will have paper copies of the map at the yards.
Q: Will all the swap locations have multiple sizes? No, each site will only have one or two sizes, from multiple donors. This means only one trip to find your size and more selection within the size you want.
Q. What do you do with anything leftover? Works-in-Progress volunteers will collect leftovers after the swap or the next day. We will either use donations for art projects, donate them to local shelters or keep for future swap events. Nothing will be thrown away.
ANY MORE QUESTIONS? please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you within the day.