Don’t Throw Your Clothes Away, Swap Them Instead!

Often, we associate the idea of ‘reducing waste’ with food waste but textile waste is a lesser-known contributor to Singapore’s waste generation. Do you have a wardrobe bursting with clothes you barely wear, yet not knowing what to do with them?

You’re not alone — a YouGov survey revealed 4 out of 10 millennials have binned their unwanted clothes. With fast fashion frequently releasing new clothing lines, more have access to affordable, trendy clothing that could be discarded with a lesser pinch of guilt.

According to theNEA, textile waste rose from 93,300 tonnes in 2008 to 168,000 tonnes in 2019. In 2017 alone, 150,000 tonnes of textile waste was generated, of which only 6% is recycled. This recycling rate of textile waste further dropped to 4% in 2019, one of the lowest figures compared to other types of waste.

The remaining 96% of textile waste is then incinerated and disposed of in Pulau Semakau, Singapore’s one and only landfill that’s filling fast. With the expectation that the landfill will be full by 2035, this problem is a glaring one.

But how can we stay fab without succumbing to throwaway culture? The solution: Clothes swapping. Clothes swapping is where participants exchange the clothes they no longer want that are still in good condition, with clothing they will use. Reducing textile waste is not the only benefit that comes with upcycling pre-loved clothing.

1.Save the environment
The process of acquiring materials to production and transportation of clothing is environmentally intensive. Simply exchanging a shirt instead of buying a brand new one could save enough water for one person for 2.5 years! And that’s not all. Swapping 20Kg worth of clothing can save enough energy to power a TV for 1.7 years!

2.Easy on your wallet
Besides reducing textile waste, clothes swapping is easy on your wallet. Swapping clothes are often cheaper than buying brand new ones, making it a value-for-money method to obtain fresh looks without breaking the bank. Consider hosting a clothes swap with your friends — who knows, you might find something you like!

If you prefer to simply exchange your clothes without the planning, you can try clothes swapping platforms like The Fashion Pulpit, or Swapaholic’s Swap Parties which allows you to trade in your unwanted clothes and accessories for “Swapling points” that can be used to acquire new wardrobe items.

3.Expand your social circle.
Clothes swapping means you get to meet like-minded individuals who share the same belief in sustainability. Treat clothing swap events as opportunities to meet new people and walk away having gained new clothes and friendships!

Clothes swapping maximises the amount of time clothes are valued. This reduces the environmentally-taxing demand for fast fashion and the amount of textile waste going to landfills. Start clothes swapping today to look good while saving your wardrobe, your wallet and the earth!

Hope to be part of reducing carbon footprint and food wastage? Head down to Savour! to procure your next food, corporate gift, office supply and rental service product. Visit our website now at


  • Written by Darlene Loh
    Darlene Loh 
    is a Marketing Inter at Savour!