Y’all! I am so stinkin’ excited to finally be posting about this project! It’s the first annual RESTYLING EXCHANGE!! (insert fanfare + confetti). Pilar and I have been working on this for a month or so now and the anticipation has been building and the time is finally here to share it with you lovely folks. As you all know I am a huge fan of refashioning, and I also love all the fun instagram parties & hashtag prompts that show up throughout the year.. so I’m super pumped to be starting up this new instagram swap with the lovely Pilar Bear.
The Restyling Exchange is a global fashion swap connecting restylers all over the world to promote the value of refashioned clothing, deepen the online sewing & crafting community, and challenge your creativity.
It was created by myself and Pilar of the sewing blog Pilar bear. I have followed Pilar on instagram for a while, but we really became “insta-friends” when I was lucky enough to take part in her pattern share a while back (really fun if you haven’t tried to join yet! – follow @pilarbearpatternshare on instagram to follow it). About a month ago, I Pilar posted a photo of a project she was refashioning for a friend, who was in turn refashioning something for her (each original garment would be returned to its owner after it was refashioned). I thought this was such a cool idea, and as I was trying to think of someone I might ask to trade refashion projects with.. the thought dawned on me: “How coo would it be if this was a community wide swap!?” .. which is what I more or less said in the comments on Pilar’s post. Since Pilar has arranged her own pattern share and participated in the sewing valentine exchange.. she was no stranger to instagram swap parties. She sent me a message that day saying “I think you have something here.. lets brainstorm about this!” And the rest, as they say, is history!! We’ve been giddily hashing out all the details over email the past few weeks and are both thrilled to bring it out into the world.
Why during Fashion Revolution Week? We thought this week would be the perfect week to launch our project to coincide with Fashion Revolution week, which was created in response to the Rhana Plaza collapse in April of 2013 that killed 1138 people, mostly garment workers. Fashion Revolution is a movement that calls for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry. You may have seen the posts and hashtags: #who made my clothes. Its an amazing week that raises awareness of the damages of the fashion industry to our planet and it’s people. Refashioning your old clothing, or second hand clothing is a great way to contribute to the eco fashion movement. It not only reduces waste, but reduces the need to consume more new, unethically produced clothing. Click here to learn more about Fashion Revolution week, and how else you can get involved.
It’s quite simple really! We all have that pile.. you know the one I’m talking about. Clothes that you never wear but cant seem to get rid of, that skirt you picked up at the thrift store because you love the fabric and were going to refashion it but couldn’t think of what to make it into, that tiny bit of vintage trim you can’t seem to find the right project for.. yup…. THAT pile!
After signing up, you will go into that pile and pick out either one garment or a couple items that you would like refashioned. If you choose multiple items it is assumed that they will be used to make one “look”.
You then will mail off these items to your Restyler (assigned by us based on your location and size). At the same time, you will be someone else’s Restyler (not necessarily the same person that has you), and you will receive a package of garments from them. In order to keep postage costs down, you will be assigned someone in your own country. We will also do our best to match people of similar size (you will enter your measurements in the sign up form).
Everyone has about two and a half weeks to restyle the garments and send them back to the owner.
At the end we have a big instagram party sharing our before and after pics of what we’ve made and what we’ve had restyled.
This is the perfect opportunity to have someone else make some magic on that garment you are struggling to find inspiration on.
Just to make sure we are all clear.. here are a few guidelines!!
WHO CAN JOIN:
– The exchange is open to everyone that has a public Instagram account AND feels they can restyle and give a new lease of life to an unworn garment. Deadline to sign up is April 30th (sign up link below!).
– Again, you will be matched up by general size & location (no one will have to pay for international shipping).
– You can include more than 1 garment as long as they are intended to be restyled together. Not for sending 20 garments to get the 20 refashioned!
– Please do not mail valuable or precious family heirloom garments.
– Please ensure that the items to be restyled are clean.
– We encourage you to print, fill in and send the downloadable questionnaire (found below) along with the garments to be restyled. That way you’ll let the other person know a bit more about your tastes and preferences. But don’t include specific instructions, the end result has got to be a surprise!
– You are welcome to use fabric from your stash in addition to the garment(s) sent to you to be restyled.
– There are no limitations to how you restyle the garment you are sent. Go all out as if it were your own! You can cut, paint, dye, embellish… the possibilities are endless!
– It may help you to have a little browse of the owner of your restyled garment’s social media accounts to get a feel for their style.
– The pieces to be restyled must be mailed by May 6th, 2017 at the latest. The sooner you send them, the more time you’ll allow the restyler to plan and refashion your pieces.
– The finished pieces must be returned by June 2nd, 2017. Please post them back to their owner as soon as they are ready.
– No one likes getting mail lost in the post, so we encourage you to keep on the safe side and send it with tracking & signature required. If the packet did get lost in the post, either before or after being refashioned, neither the sender nor the recipient can be blamed for the loss.
– By entering, you are committing to pay for any post costs involved in this exchange.
– In the odd chance that only one person was to sign up from a given country, and was not willing to cover international postage, then we may cancel their request to join in the exchange due to a lack of restyling partner in their country.
– You can use the hashtag #restylingexchange2017 throughout this time to keep us posted about your process. Maybe you want to post about the garments you’ve mailed off for restyling, or maybe you want to share your creative process and how you are approaching the refashion. Before and after shots are also very effective, don’t forget to post yours!
– We will be having a dedicated weekend so that we can all share and see the restyled garments at once, so even if you’ve been posting about your make, don’t forget to join the community over the 9th, 10th and 11th of June.
All of that sound good to you? Click to sign up NOTE: Please only sign up once!! –>
Don’t forget to print this bad boy out, fill it out, and send it along with your garments to your Restyler so they can have a good idea of the person they are restyling for! –>
I cant wait for you to join us on this refashioning journey!