Trading Up: Using Swapdom to Recycle My Wardrobe (Part 1)

Recently, I’ve been getting more interested in using the internet to recycle my wardrobe. Whether it’s selling my clothes online or the more recent and thrilling method, swapping my clothes online – I feel obliged to find the most efficient and satisfying way to get new stuff for my old stuff.

Swapdom came into my view a few weeks ago by chance. I was introduced to their brand when they approached me to become an ambassador. They are a unique type of secondhand store in the sense that instead of selling, their process allows users to trade. No money, no bargaining, no timed listings – just swapping. I jumped at the idea because, not only is it an ethically responsible way to enjoy fashion, but it’s just about as cost effective as it gets – free.

How it Works

The concept was definitely new to me, and maybe new to the internet in general! A way of secondhand shopping online that doesn’t involve any kind of money transaction! Here’s the process:

Step one: You post some items that are in good condition and that you’d be willing to part with. Take your own pictures (bonus points if you’ve got one of the garment flat/hanging, and one of you wearing it). Upload the photos, describe the item and size, and throw in some keywords to help people find it.

Step two: Enter the world of Swapdom. Start a swap to begin browsing the items other people have posted. Browsing is made really easy as everything is categorized by type, size and style. Once you see something you like, request it from the owner, and wait for Swapdom to work its magic. Alternately, you can wait until someone requests one of your items, then you can go shopping for something you’d be willing to receive in trade.

Step three: Swapdom roots through its entire roster of products and people and applies an algorithm to try to find a way for you to get exactly what you want. Basically, it finds a group of users who all want something from each other, and using fancy math, it figures out a way for everyone to get what they want without any hassles! It’ll notify you when your swap is ready. Literally all you need to do is find stuff you like and press “go!”

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Step four: Ship out your old stuff and receive your new goodies.

Still fuzzy? I don’t blame you, it’s a bit advanced! Here’s a video with figurines and shapes to help you. (I needed it.)

The whole process seems really simple until it doesn’t. Then it’s just internet magic and I prefer to leave it that way so my brain doesn’t break.

My Swapdom Experience

So, unbelievably intrigued and curious about the process, I put some of my own stuff up on Swapdom to see what kind of trades I could muster up.

I put up a pair of Rock & Republic ankle boots (from this outfit), this adorable chiffon shirt, and a sample dress I received from the Derek Lam x Kohl’s collaboration (size Small – thanks a bundle!).

Once I posted my items, I promptly got distracted. A couple of days later, though, I was reigned in by a notification in my inbox – someone had requested one of my items! It was time to go shopping.

After scouring through all of the things available in my size (a surprisingly large amount!), I settled on a faux leather jacket from H&M. Once I requested it, I was brought to a page where I realized I could have other options which undoubtedly opens me up to a potentially faster swap match! I picked out a cute bird-print dress and set forth.


After that, it’s a patient waiting game while the algorithm figures out how to get my boots to the person who desires them, and get me that sweet, sweet, quilted faux leather jacket.

You can be sure that once my swap is ready, you’ll be hearing about it! Follow me on Twitter and Instagram. And stay tuned for part 2!

…To be continued!

In the meantime, sign up for Swapdom here!

Lindsay Ginn

Livin' in your basement, eatin' your canned foods.