How does it all work?
We regularly get asked how the exchange works, so here is our step-by-step guide for first time attendees:
- Sort out your items to swap before the event. Make sure they’re clean and in good condition – a good rule of thumb is ‘would I give this to a friend or pay money for it in a charity shop’
- When you arrive, bring your items to the check in desk – Please bring a MAXIMUM of 20 items per check in. Here our volunteers will check your items for quality. We only accept items which meet our quality standards to make sure the quality of the items in the exchange is consistent.
- You will then be given a token with the number of accepted items. One item = one credit.
- Bring your token to the payment desk. Here we will record the number of items you have checked in and set you up with a membership number if you are a new swapper. We store the credits on our database, so you can use any unused credits at a future exchange.
- Now you can ‘shop’ the exchange and rummage through our rails of clothing, shoes and accessories.
- When you’ve selected your items and are ready to leave, you’ll come to the check out desk. Here our volunteers will count your items, and make a note of them and your membership number to be inputted into our database. You are now free to head home with your new items!
- Wear those new outfits! We love to see our items out in the wild, so please share them on social media and tag us.
What items do you accept?
We accept all sizes of adult clothing, shoes and accessories in good clean condition – a good rule of thumb is that the items should be something you would give to a friend or pay money for in a charity shop.
- Items musy be clean and dry – if possible please launder your items before bringing them to swap
- No damaged items – check for holes, wear & tear, missing buttons, stains etc.
- No underwear, swimwear, pjamas or gymwear that touches the body (unless it is brand new with tags attached)
- No worn out items eg. greying whites, bobbly jumpers, rusty hardwear etc.
- No specific branded clothes – e.g. tops that say “Leeds Marathon 2015”
- No children’s or teen clothing
Do I need to bring my items in advance?
You do not need to bring your items ahead of time, as we check your items in with you at the check in desk. We are unable to store individuals items before the exchange, so just bring them along with you on the day.
Where are you based?
We hold our events at Woodhouse Community Centre, 197 Woodhouse St, Leeds LS6 2NY. The venue is a few minutes walk from Hyde Park Corner. You can find the venue on Goole Maps.
Is the venue accessible?
Woodhouse Community Centre is fully wheelchair accessible, with flat access to all areas of the exchange. There is a disabled toilet. We have seating available for anyone needing to take a break. There is limited parking (4 spaces) directly outside the venue, or there is lots of on-street parking nearby. If you would like to discuss your access requirements please contact us.
From September 2022 we are offering a Quiet Hour from 3–4pm with reduced capacity for those who would prefer a quieter swapping environment.
Do I need to book?
Our events are drop-in so you can just come on the day. We are open for swapping from 12-4pm (last entry at 3.30pm to allow you time to swap). You can pay by contactless card payment (please do this if you can) or cash on the door.
Do you accept plus size clothing?
We accept all sizes adult clothing. However, we can’t guarantee that there will be a full range of sizes at each event – we dont buy in stock so it all depends on the items brought by our swapping community.
What do you do with items that are rejected from the exchange?
We are not able to recycle rejected items, so we ask you to take these away with you to wash, repair, donate to charity or recycle. There is a textiles recycling bin right opposite Woodhouse Community Centre.
Our friends at Leeds Repair Cafe often have a stall at our swaps, and can make minor repairs to rejected items for you.
We continually sort items throughout the event for quality control and remove any items which dont meet our guidelines from stock. If you can make use of these items for any reason please ask one of our volunteers or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I get involved?
LCCE is entirely run by volunteers. Whether you’d like to volunteer on the day at our events, or get involved in our management team, we’d love to hear from you. Send us an email to email@example.com
I’ve lost my membership card, can I still access my credits?
Yes! We keep your name on file alongside your membership number, so as long as you can remember your name, we’ll be able to find your credits.
How do you use the entrance fee?
The exchange runs on a not-for-profit basis so any surplus goes back into the running of the exchange. The entrance fee pays for our venue hire to run the event, card transaction fees, refreshments for our volunteer team, maintenance of equipment, consumables, promotion, community projects and volunteer social events.
Do you work with charities/local groups?
Yes! We operate a Voucher Scheme where people in need of clothing can access items at the exchange using credits from our Charity Bank. Vouchers are distributed to local charities, food banks, homeless shelters, & refugee support services to pass on to the people who need them most. We have previously worked with Freedom for Girls, PAFRAS, Basis, Womens Health Matters & Education Aid.
Each voucher gives free entry & 20 credits to the holder. If you are involved in any projects who could benefit from the voucher scheme please get in touch.
If you would like to donate your excess credits to the scheme just let the volunteer know when you check in.
We are always looking for new ways we can support local charities/groups. To discuss your idea with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to set up a clothes exchange in my area, can you help?
As we have no paid staff, we are not able to meet with individual groups wanting to set up similar events but if you would like to volunteer at one of our events and chat to us on the day about how we operate, please email us at email@example.com
You can also download our ‘How-to’ guide here: LCCE Clothes Swapping Guide