Waterford City and County Council’s reuse swap event toolkit

We all accumulate items during the course of our lives that we have outgrown or no longer have use for, e.g. sporting equipment, school uniforms, clothes etc.

Why not hold a local swap event and help your community become more sustainable? Reusing our items is a positive climate action that we can all take.

10 simple guides on how to run a successful swap event:

  1. Get your team together
    You’ll need a few helping hands to make sure everything can run smoothly, including someone to greet guests, manage the swap, and sort the items as they come in.
  2. Decide on a suitable location
    Make sure it meets your needs. It could be a table in your canteen, school, hall or community centre. Check whether the venue can help by providing tables, rails, or refreshments on the day too.
  3. Location basics
    Make sure there are bathrooms and good lighting so that swappers feel comfortable and can browse. If organising a clothes swap a full length mirror may also be beneficial.
  4. Set a date & advertise
    Give yourself enough time to get everything together. Spread information about the event by word of mouth, posters, local radio or newspapers and on social media.
  5. Accepting Items
    Take in the items to be swapped before the event. Get the items all lined up ready to go on the rails/table. This will also give you time to sort the items into different categories. Note: Depending on the size of swap event you may need to accept items a day or two beforehand to get set up.
  6. Display is important
    Consider how you will display the items, leave space for browsing. For example at a clothes swap provide a rail, tables and hangers in order to make the clothes look nice. Group in sizes that helps to see all pieces at one glance.
  7. Let people know what to expect
    Be specific of what can be swapped. Highlight that quality goes over quantity. i.e. swappers can bring up to 5 items that are in good condition. Encourage a spirit of goodwill and remind swappers not to have an equivalent value in mind when swapping.
  8. How to swap?
    Most swaps are one-for-one — so if an attendee brings one item, they get one token to exchange for an item at the swap. Whoever is on the door at the event will be in charge of overseeing this as people arrive and leave.
  9. Enjoy your swap
    Get everyone in position and open the doors to your lovely swap attendees! Have a few people circulating throughout to make sure all is going well, as well as manning the changing areas, keeping things tidy, etc.
  10. Celebrate the swap!
    Celebrate your swap event. Be sure to let everyone know and tag us in your social media posts MWaterfordCouncil
See Waterford City and County Council’s swap event toolkit for running your own swap event. Follow the ten simple steps to running your own swap event. Customise the posters to let everyone know when it’s happening and use the images on social media to maximise attendance.
Let’s get swapping!