Saturday, 20 April 2013

Pursued by the Press


Today was a national Clothes Swapping day in Sweden, arranged nation-wide by the various local branches of the Swedish Society for the Conservation of Nature. I’ve never partaken in one before, but since my wardrobe was in need of some clearing out anyway, I decided to give it a try.

The procedure is simple enough: Hand in (maximum)five items, receive one coupon per item, come back a couple of hours later and use your coupons to “buy” other items. (If you’re as lucky as to find anything you want.)

What I had not taken into account was the intense media coverage…

Arriving at the Swap Place around 10.15, I had hardly entered the room before I was attacked by a reporter from the local radio station, wanting to ask me a few questions. Taken by surprise, I agreed...

Reporter: Why are you here today?
Me: I read about it in the paper and thought why not.
Reporter (expectantly): So, do you do you do a lot of second-hand shopping?
Me: No, I can’t say I do.
Reporter: Do you have a lot of clothes hanging unused in your wardrobe?
Me: Er… Not really.
Reporter (getting a bit desperate now): But you think swapping is a good idea and people ought do it more?
Me: Yes, why not. 
Reporter: So are you here mainly to get rid of things or will you be back later hoping to make some finds?
Me: Mainly to hand in a few things. (Taking pity on the reporter, and the possible radio listeners, I added:) But yes, I’ll probably come back and have a look around too.

End of Interview. (I don’t know if it was ever aired… If I’d been the reporter, I think I’d have made an effort to find a more enthusiastic interview subject!)

Coming back to the Swap Place around 1.15 pm. Once again I had hardly entered the room before I found myself approached by another representative of the Press:

Reporter 2: Hello, I come from the local newspaper, I wonder if I may ask you a few questions and take a picture?
Me (horrified): Oh no, please… I’ve already been on the radio this morning, that’s enough for one day…!

Mercifully she went on to someone else - and from what I overheard, had better luck there. (A younger and more experienced second hand-shopper…)

Myself I left within a few minutes, after quickly having established that there was nothing in my size that I was interested in at all. Which did not really matter to me – I was just relieved not to have to pretend that it did! (Frontpage headline: She Gave Away Half Her Wardrobe and Got Nothing in Return!)

PS. Found it best to pixellate my photo before putting it on here, as I did not ask anyone’s permission to take it!


  1. it is a great idea, and i would do the same thing you did, when someone ask me a question like that i draw a blank. it is a good way to recycle clothes and get new ones.

  2. I like the idea but here we have so many charity shops it probably wouldn't create the same media excitement.

    1. We do too (have a number of charity and second hand shops) ... One reason why I was not prepared for all the media attention at this event either! :)

  3. Charity shops here (called Op Shops) have a huge range of clothes mainly, I think, for ladies. We are fortunate to live near a very wealthy area. The Cranford Hospice Op Shop has a donee who is a lady with more money than sense and the same shoe size as Wendy. The lady obviously buys her shoes, wears them once (or occasionally not at all) and then hands them to the Op Shop. Wendy then buys shoes which would usually cost several hundred dollars for a maximum of $10. That's why W & M have a HUGE wardrobe and a walk-in cave in their bedroom.

    1. Lucky Wendy ;) I've long since given up 'bargains' when it comes to shoes. I need sensible shoes that I can walk miles in, and tend to go for quality and comfort rather than quantity. I don't own a single pair of high-heeled party shoes. (Should I ever have to attend the Nobel prize dinner I'll deal with it when I get the invitation.)

  4. Wow, how interesting to have a National Clothes Swapping Day in your country.
    We are always donating stuff (not only clothes) to the local Salvation Army and other church thrift shops on the island. The funds are used to feed the needy in the church.
    I always have a yearly swap meet for my girlfriends every year on May 1st. It's an event we look forward to, since anything is acceptable to be swapped, however, not useless husbands or boyfriends.
    I always avoid the news reporters when they show up to any events that I'm attending.

    1. Virginia, I usually steer away from reporters at events too, if only I happen to notice them before I'm already face-to-face with them... Yesterday I wasn't expecting any! I have of course donated stuff to charity before, just not the "swap" kind of event.

  5. Goodness, it must have been a very slow news day! But I AM sorry that you did not find anything. We don't have these here, what a good idea.

  6. That's a good idea, I bet there's a lot of people out there hanging tons of clothes just hanging there. I am one of those, made a huge clear out recently that I will hand in to a clothes bank, as we call it over here. They have a container beside the ones at the recycling stations around the city.

    1. There is no such container nor charity shop really close to where I live or I might be doing it more frequently. The advantage of this event was that it was in the town centre.


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