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'Clothing Swap' Party Lets New Yorkers Trade Designer Duds in Union Square

UNION SQUARE — New Yorkers can trade in last year’s spring wardrobe for a new one at this year’s Earth Day celebration held at Union Square.

Closet Dash, a showroom located at 30 E. 20th St., will be hosting a massive "clothing swap" party on Earth Day, Apr. 21, including women’s and men’s clothes, shoes and bags, said Jennifer Lee, founder of Closet Dash.

“When I heard Earth Day was coming right down in Union Square, I decided I wanted to do the biggest swap party Earth Day has ever seen,” Lee said. “Just in general, swapping has so many benefits to individuals and for the environment.”

Participants may bring up to 20 pieces of apparel to swap during the event, which has a $10 entry fee, she added.  All proceeds will be donated to the Earth Day Organic Indoor Learning Garden Program.

Each item will be checked for quality, and once it's approved, the swapper will receive a ticket for each item to use as currency, Lee explained.

“It’s an economical way to update your wardrobe and to remove items that might just be taking up space in your closet,” she said.

Clothing for trade should be clean and clear of any dandruff, hair or smells, Lee noted.

“We hold a very high standard,” she said. “It should be something you would wear yourself.”

The types of clothes brought to past Closet Dash swap parties have included styles for all ages, as well as top designer names, Lee said.

"It's ranged from H&M all the way up to Tory Burch," Lee said. "Once someone brought in a Givenchy vintage suit. You never know what’s going to come.

“It’s nice to see kind of the other side effects to swapping, like community building,” she said of the event's added benefits. “It’s cool seeing someone say, 'That was my top, and it looks great on you.' It means someone was able to bring back to life something you weren’t using to begin with.”

The swap party will be held at 15th Street and Union Square West. Registration begins at 1 p.m. and the swapping begins at 2 p.m. Participants are asked to arrive early for drop-off.

Union Square will be the stage for a variety of other activities on Earth Day, including live performances, a green-vehicle runway and exhibition, and exhibits and displays by local organizations and businesses. Festivities run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

For more information about Earth Day events at Union Square, visit www.facebook.com/events/384925771605185.