The Gong’s Great Clothes Swap returned on Saturday, September 9, encouraging the community to reuse, recycle and revamp their wardrobes.

Since 2014, the Swap has saved approximately 50,000 items of clothing from becoming textile waste.

For just $20, attendees can swap up to 10 unwanted items for a fresh 10 more.

The remaining clothes are then kept for future events or donated to Green Connect Illawarra.

In a recent report from The Australian Fashion Council, 55 per cent of garments in Australian households have never been worn.

According to the Global Scan report, we see 200,000 tonnes of textiles reach landfill each year, making clothing waste one of the largest contributors to Australia’s waste problem.

Founder of The Gong’s Great Clothes Swap Shane Moon said finding a solution to fast fashion is essential.

“It’s crazy how many items of clothing are brand new that still have tags on them and people are not wearing them at all,” Ms Moon said.

“I do the swap to give these clothes another opportunity to not hit landfill.”

From its humble beginnings in a lounge room, the Swap has since become one of the Illawarra’s largest and longest running clothing swap initiatives.

Swap Volunteer Stephanie Rooney said second hand fashion gives shoppers an opportunity to explore their individualism.

“You’re not dressing up as anybody else, you’re standing out and you can express yourself so much more,” Ms Rooney said.

“I try and get second hand as much as possible, I try not to buy brand new, and get as much wear out of clothes as possible.”

The Gong’s Great Clothes Swap has upcoming swaps at Lower Crown St Mall on October 14 and November 11th.  In the meantime, you can join the initiative’s Facebook group to stay updated on the cause.


Shane Moon on the benefits of swapping over shopping.